And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep... And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. In other words, speech brought order to chaos. We, too, bring order to chaos through our speech. Here’s my version, which I’ve written once or twice before... The first civilized human was the caveman who decided to simply call his neighbor an S.O.B. instead of bashing his brains out with a rock. Therefore, by definition, the person who threatens violence because he doesn’t like your views is anti-civilization.
Violent Assault on Speech In places all too close to my front door, the world is becoming uncivilized... I live 20 minutes from downtown Portland, Oregon. It’s a present-day American city where violence in the streets occurs nightly... and where, by all appearances, a man recently paid for his political and religious views with his life. Michael Reinoehl, a self-described antifa supporter and frequent member of the Portland protests, admitted to murdering an unarmed supporter of President Trump named Aaron “Jay” Danielson. In a TV interview a week later, the victim’s friend alleged that Reinoehl just came up from behind and killed Danielson... after someone in Reinoehl’s group yelled, “We got another right here, pull it out,” apparently meaning take out your gun and shoot this person because he’s one of “them.” In other words, the killer bashed his neighbor’s brains out instead of calling him an S.O.B. This is not the “End of America” that Porter Stansberry talks about so frequently. That’s an economic and political phenomenon. This goes much deeper than that... This is the End of Civilization as we know it . For now, it’s admittedly writ rather small in the lives of the victim and his killer... but what do you think tomorrow will bring? And what about all those disinvitations FIRE catalogued beginning two decades ago?
This is the End of Civilization as we know it.
Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right because life is impossible without it... All forms of life speak in one way or another. In his novel, The Bear , author Andrew Krivak writes that all living things speak and that “they need it like they need air to breathe.” Speech is the oxygen of civilization . If we are not free to speak without fear of infringement against our person and property, we are not among civilized people... or at the very least, our society has become too infected with uncivilized people. As Saad’s episode and the FIRE statistics show, this is no mere academic musing. It’s as real as the sound of your own voice...
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