Although I’ve run across his name before, I’m really not familiar with the work of Fredrik deBoer. For all I know, he may advocate tearing down animal rescue shelters and replacing them with baby-punching factories (and if so, he should back off — that’s working my side of the street.)
However, in light of the open letter on free speech in Harper’s and the ensuing freakout on Woke Twitter (and how woke must one be to scorn Noam freaking Chomsky as a tool of systemic repression?), DeBoer offered something really good at his blog, and gets our QotD.
Please, think for a minute and consider: what does it say when a completely generic endorsement of free speech and open debate is in and of itself immediately diagnosed as anti-progressive, as anti-left? There is literally no specific instance discussed in that open letter, no real-world incident about which there might be specific and tangible controversy. So how can someone object to an endorsement of free speech and open debate without being opposed to those things in and of themselves? You can’t. And people are objecting to it because social justice politics are plainly opposed to free speech. That is the most obvious political fact imaginable today. Of course Yelling Woke Twitter hates free speech! Of course social justice liberals would prevent expression they disagree with if they could! How could any honest person observe our political discourse for any length of time and come to any other conclusion?
You want to argue that free speech is bad, fine. You want to adopt a dominance politics that (you imagine) will result in you being the censor, fine. But just do that. Own that. Can we stop with this charade? Can we stop pretending? Can we just proceed by acknowledging what literally everyone quietly knows, which is that the dominant majority of progressive people simply don’t believe in the value of free speech anymore? Please. Let’s grow up and speak plainly, please. Let’s just grow up. [All emphases in the original. — Prof. M.]
I might have to get to know this guy better. But I still have dibs on the baby-punching factories.
A tip of the Mondo Mortarboard to Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt.