Sunday, March 26, 2006

Liberals Unveil New Slogan: Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Something Else!

Surprisingly, despite the organisers’ strategy of trying to ban most of the people who would turn up, the ‘March for Free Expression’ was a flop. Apparently, the public were not inspired by a demonstration for free expression where you couldn’t actually express yourself freely.

It does raise an interesting philosophical question though: is it ironic, or just stupid, that a guy so obsessed with insensitive language calls his opponents 'fascists' ? See, here’s the thing: we’re talking about people who think you should be killed for publishing stuff they disagree with, and the fascists are the people who oppose them ? How does that work ?

As if calling a large chunk of potential supporters 'fascists' wasn’t enough, the next trick was to claim a moral equivalence between the Cartoon Jihad and the folks from Christian Voice protesting outside performances of Jerry Springer: The Opera. Huh ? So it was a demonstration against the right of people to demonstrate ? And people say Liberals haven’t got a well worked out philosophy.

Just for any members of the hard-of-thinking out there, I’ll spell it out: when Christain Voice demonstrates against performances of JStO, they’re not opposing free speech, they’re exercising it. You have the right to freedom of expression, but so do your opponents. That’s why it’s called the right to free speech, not the right to be universally applauded.

Of course, this painful attempt to draw equivalence between some old folks with placards and the July 7 bombers exposes perfectly the central flaw in the whole concept of the march. Free expression isn’t threatened by climate change, big business, or any of the Left’s other usual suspects, least of all by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and its cunning plan to abolish free speech by supporting it, but the Left is still stuck in the paradigms of student politics.

The March for Free Expression isn’t proof that the Left has finally woken up to the danger, it’s the complete opposite. Even with maniacs wandering round with placards calling for the beheading of opponents, the Left can't even bring itself to name the enemy. After all, someone may mistake them for right-wingers. Hence the desire to square the circle, to find a proverbial ‘Third Way’ or the equally elusive ‘moderate Muslims’.

If it achieved nothing else, at least the March for Free Expression has proved the essential truth of the time honoured advice from the Right to the Left: Liberals, shut the hell up, we’ll save civilisation.

No comments: