Days of Change

This Says More About the Supporters

May 11, 2015

I came upon this quote recently:

We have to put a stop to the idea that it is a part of everybody’s civil rights to say whatever he pleases.

The man who said this also criticized Christianity, preferring the strength of purpose in Islam.

He was Adolph Hitler.

Hitler doesn’t end an argument, but there’s not a lot of room for people who want to limit free speech while claiming to support it. There are specific limits to speech. Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater for the purpose of causing a panic and putting people in danger has no informational value and a high probability of injury. While fighting words is a legal concept, what constitutes a permissible provocation is about as specific as the definition of pornography.

One of the things that I like about “The Matrix” movies is the portrayal of an age-old argument about the human condition. All the people in the Matrix are (relatively) safe. They’re actually sitting in pods being fed from tubes, but they think that they’re in 1999 Big City, USA. In the sequels, it is stated that the Matrix started as an ideal paradise, but people couldn’t accept it and broke out of the Matrix simulation. So, instead, they are subjected to the drudgery and misery of everyday life.

This is a fundamental argument. Do you seal everyone up in bubble wrap and keep them from conflict or do you rage against the dying of the light. I’m not spending my days jumping from planes, but I certainly don’t mind poking the bear, metaphorically. The Muhammad drawing contest was almost literally poking a bear, but the Boston Marathon was not. The difference is that one group though they were safe, but the other knew they were not. That, and only the terrorists died last week.

Unlike Adolph Hitler and other liberals, I don’t think the problem is what people do, but if they are prepared to fight for what they believe.


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