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Speaker's Corner - reflecting the twilight of free speech watch

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    Speaker's Corner is one of the most emblematic symbols of free speech anywhere in the world. Famously anyone can speak there, if they observe the law, and can stand the heckles. Karl Marx spoke there, Lenin too, and George Orwell.

    But we are in the twilight of free speech in our culture and even someone coming to talk on the subject of free speech can't address the rude and unruly mob there now. Can't be allowed.

    Martin Sellner of the "hipster-right" movement, Generation Identity was scheduled to speak there on Sunday, after his slated appearance at a conference was stopped thanks to threats from the fascist left. But no, he was not allowed into the country, stopped at Heathrow. Mr Sellner can't set foot on UK soil to give a speech on free speech for fear that such an exercise of free speech might be too provocative to those who revile it.

    As a Austrian citizen and member of the EU (which we are still part of for now) he ought to be entitled to "free movement" one would have thought. But no, that is reserved for serial killers and Jihadists...

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...countries.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7753541.html

    So much for freedom of movement. So much for freedom of speech. So much for what Speaker's Corner used to stand for, but does no more...
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    Well there are two issues here. First, we don't and never had free movement between the UK and Europe and as such can prevent people from entering. Second, we don't have free speech in this country. It is not permitted to incite hatred and specifically of a racial nature and bring it on say I. I don't want people coming to this country if they are coming to feed people's fear of others simply on the basis of what they look like. That is just so pathetic.

    And this chap you talk about is a fascist. You know - like Hitler - who we fought a world war to defeat. So no - I don't want people like Hitler coming to this country, free speech or not.

    I am very fearful that we could see ourselves going to war over something very similar. It is clear to me that now those who remember the war have all but disappeared, we will soon forget the horrors of the past and make the same mistake again and learn once more the terrible bloodshed and misery that war brings - and for what? Some ideological bullsh1t about free speech?
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    And this chap you talk about is a fascist. You know - like Hitler - who we fought a world war to defeat. So no - I don't want people like Hitler coming to this country, free speech or not.

    I am very fearful that we could see ourselves going to war over something very similar. It is clear to me that now those who remember the war have all but disappeared, we will soon forget the horrors of the past and make the same mistake again and learn once more the terrible bloodshed and misery that war brings - and for what? Some ideological bullsh1t about free speech?
    Everyone leftists like you disagree with is a "fascist" mate. He's a fascist, I'm a fascist, even the guy who beat Hitler, Winston Churchill was a fascist.

    I agree with you about one thing though politics is becoming increasingly vicious and febrile and there is a real risk of bloodshed in the near future. And actions like this will have helped cause it. When debate is no longer allowed, and your side aim to stop any debate because you know you are losing the argument, the logical next resort is violence.
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    (Original post by generallee)
    Everyone leftists like you disagree with is a "fascist" mate.


    Also, relevant given its recency. Apparently the US Embassy in Bosnia let some idiot on its Twitter account.
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    Ah I saw this on RT, They put it a bit more succinctly than the DM though.

    https://www.rt.com/uk/421030-free-sp...artin-sellner/
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    I usually keep that leather coat and peaked cap with the Death's Head badge in my wardrobe, actually...

    The problem is an acute one. If the left disagrees with the guy who was banned, or indeed my own position on (say) the dangers of Islamism and uncontrolled immigration then debate the subject with us. As we are doing here. Don't ban free speech because it is "Nazi."

    Having said that I blame our spineless government most of all. You in your turn are totally entitled entitled to express your view, free speech cuts both ways. But the authorities don't have to listen to you, and shouldn't.

    (I find your position on this matter fascinating, btw. A an anarchist I presume you regard freedom of speech in the classical liberal sense I am using it a product of capitalism and inappropriate and tyrannical bourgeois legislation, and therefore wrong and to be swept away. But is it the position of an anarchist that speech (and indeed thought) can be compelled by violence??)
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    (Original post by generallee)
    and your side aim to stop any debate because you know you are losing the argument, the logical next resort is violence.
    My side? I don't have a side. I speak only for myself.

    I'm sorry, but there is no debate to be had. I am not prepared to have a debate about the fact that someone who looks differently to me or him should be treated differently. There is no debate to be had about whether racism is acceptable. There is no debate to be had about whether perhaps we should bring in extreme views on how society should run. I'm sorry if you feel shut down, but if you want to live in such a society feel free to move to Saudi Arabia.

    Yes, I am happy to debate immigration, but if that debate starts looking at people as one colour or clan or race then there is no debate.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    My side? I don't have a side. I speak only for myself.
    You articulate the weltanschauung of a whole generation of post modern left wing philosophy. You have been educated in its norms and conventions and are so steeped in it, you aren't even self aware enough to realise this. No offence, the one thing you don't do is THINK for yourself, or articulate conceptions original to you, and outside its aegis.
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    (Original post by generallee)
    You articulate the weltanschauung of a whole generation of post modern left wing philosophy. You have been educated in its norms and conventions and are so steeped in it, you aren't even self aware enough to realise this. No offence, the one thing you don't do is THINK for yourself, or articulate conceptions original to you, and outside its aegis.
    If you say so. I just call it respecting others and being polite. You can call it what you like. I am quite happy for this person not to have his say. I can't see how a world portrayed by him would be significant better.

    But we'll leave it there. People might think you are trying to troll me.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    If you say so.
    Yes I do.

    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I just call it respecting others and being polite.
    How is denying someone the right to entry the country, locking him up in a detention centre for several hours, preventing his right to speak and then ejecting him from the country "respecting others and being polite?"

    (Original post by ByEeek)
    You can call it what you like.
    I call it fascism actually. Ironic huh?

    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I am quite happy for this person not to have his say.
    Of course you are. That is my whole point.

    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I can't see how a world portrayed by him would be significant better.
    No of course you can't. He argues for lower immigration from the Muslim world that would be just terrible wouldn't it?

    After all, our society is so amazingly cohesive and peaceful with a population of just 6.5% Muslims, right? So the more there are the more cohesive and peaceful, and less Islamic it will be.
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    (Original post by generallee)

    (I find your position on this matter fascinating, btw. A an anarchist I presume you regard freedom of speech in the classical liberal sense I am using it a product of capitalism and inappropriate and tyrannical bourgeois legislation, and therefore wrong and to be swept away. But is it the position of an anarchist that speech (and indeed thought) can be compelled by violence??)
    I see freedom of speech as a matter of state repression. It's a right you hold vis-a-vis the state, not other people. For that reason I'm pretty skeptical of state bans on demonstrations, even far-right demonstrations, both in principle because I don't want to give that much power to the state, but also because I think a strong counter-protest challenge is often more effective than simply preventing the original from taking place. For the record, on that basis I think Sellner and co. shouldn't have been denied entry, though I admit I'm hardly crying over it.

    Also, I'd distinguish between a right to speech and a right to organisation. A few racists ranting can and should just be ignored. Substantively organised fascist/far right groups on the other hand - that's something which needs to be nipped in the bud before they attain any substantial power. Though in a UK context, that's largely not relevant at the moment - the British far-right in recent years has been mostly either disorganised or co-opted by factions of UKIP. The US is a very different question.
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    (Original post by generallee)
    ...No offence, the one thing you don't do is THINK for yourself...
    Why would anyone find such a statement aimed at them offensive?

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    Its interesting this whole affair...the way the far right is handling it. They accuse the left of censorship and authoritarianism for denying these people access to the UK....whilst openly campaigning for people to have their passports withdrawn and not be allowed into the country for supporting islamic extremism....Hypocrisy is not just rife in left wing politics...its just as bad in the right...The more you listen to both sides the more you notice how much alike they are.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    Yes, I am happy to debate immigration, but if that debate starts looking at people as one colour or clan or race then there is no debate.
    That's not really for you to decide though, is it? Whether you like it or not, whether you choose to participate or not and regardless of the law, that debate IS increasingly being had, and if you think it can be suppressed you have another thing coming.

    So a "fascist" was banned from entering the country and speaking. Well so what? Everything he has to say is already freely avaliable on the internet. And the great irony is, had he been allowed to enter the country, his presence would have gone largely unnoticed except to those who already knew who he was. But instead his name is now all over the national media.

    Millions of people are now aware of this Martin Sellner character, and whilst there will be plenty of dull, uncurious, normies who will be sufficiently frightened away by scary labels like "far-right" and "fascist", there will be countless who are intellectually curious, if just for the 'forbidden fruit' aspect alone, who will now go and find out what he has to say. So good job there, British government and media.

    :teehee:
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    (Original post by Wōden)
    That's not really for you to decide though, is it?
    Of course it is. Pretty much everyone has a point (or at least a gradual continuum) at which certain issues cease to become matters of polite debate and disagreement and instead become basic moral or even existential principles, which they are free to decide on for themselves.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    I see freedom of speech as a matter of state repression. It's a right you hold vis-a-vis the state, not other people...

    Also, I'd distinguish between a right to speech and a right to organisation. A few racists ranting can and should just be ignored. Substantively organised fascist/far right groups on the other hand - that's something which needs to be nipped in the bud before they attain any substantial power. .
    Repression is a highly pejorative word, so I assume (correct me if I am wrong) that state "repression" of all kinds is a bad thing, and to be swept away by anarchism.

    So far so good if true. I get that. But isn't a ban on "organisation" also "repressive?"

    And you haven't really answered my earlier point. Would speech (and indeed) organisation be prevented in an anarchist state, and if so how? By violent means?

    But if they are to be allowed, why must speech and organisation be compelled under liberal democracy, but not under anarchism? Why should any non anarchist support that?
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    (Original post by Wōden)
    That's not really for you to decide though, is it? Whether you like it or not, whether you choose to participate or not and regardless of the law, that debate IS increasingly being had, and if you think it can be suppressed you have another thing coming.
    :teehee:
    Fair enough. Bring on world war three then. Because that is where it will end. Only cowards and the ignorant want that. Is that what you want?
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    (Original post by generallee)
    Speaker's Corner is one of the most emblematic symbols of free speech anywhere in the world. Famously anyone can speak there, if they observe the law, and can stand the heckles. Karl Marx spoke there, Lenin too, and George Orwell.

    But we are in the twilight of free speech in our culture and even someone coming to talk on the subject of free speech can't address the rude and unruly mob there now. Can't be allowed.

    Martin Sellner of the "hipster-right" movement, Generation Identity was scheduled to speak there on Sunday, after his slated appearance at a conference was stopped thanks to threats from the fascist left. But no, he was not allowed into the country, stopped at Heathrow. Mr Sellner can't set foot on UK soil to give a speech on free speech for fear that such an exercise of free speech might be too provocative to those who revile it.

    As a Austrian citizen and member of the EU (which we are still part of for now) he ought to be entitled to "free movement" one would have thought. But no, that is reserved for serial killers and Jihadists...

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...countries.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7753541.html

    So much for freedom of movement. So much for freedom of speech. So much for what Speaker's Corner used to stand for, but does no more...
    The problem of course is that the right doesn't believe in free speech, it just believes in it for those they agree with. Note how the right basically call and accuse anyone they disagree with of being a terrorist lover or Britain hater. Hardly the mark of people yearning for open debate or for diversity of opinions.
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    (Original post by Wōden)
    ...Millions of people are now aware of this Martin Sellner character, and whilst there will be plenty of dull, uncurious, normies...
    A week is a long time in politics, even in alt-right politics, so this Mark Sellmore character you speak of will be forgotten pretty quickly.
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    This country is just getting worse and worse, eventually it's going to pop
 
 
 
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