The UN and Internet and Free Speech Regulationby OkieDave
Americans tend to think of our constitutional liberties as being especially impregnable and unassailable. Other nations have constitutional liberties and democratic governments too of course, but they do not define themselves by them, and do not feel especially bound by them. After all, only three sovereign countries even in Europe have enjoyed uninterrupted constitutional rule or democracy for more than fifty years, Britain, Sweden, and Switzerland and this from countries historically at the fringe of Europe. In America though we take great pride in our constitution and liberties, viewing them as the essence of our nature, by which our city on a hill shines a beacon throughout the world. So when the United Nations accuses us of allowing "an estimated 250 to 400 self-proclaimed hate groups" to use us as a safe haven for their internet websites, as a recent UN conference on racism held in Geneva did, it perplexes us slightly. How did we, by upholding freedom and civil liberties, become accused of being a haven for groups that seek to destroy these liberties?
These estimates must be taken with a certain grain of salt. What does it mean to be a "self proclaimed hate group"? Does it mean that your group has earned the prestigious hate group seal of approval, which you can proudly display on your web site? As the auto rental commercial says, "not exactly". Indeed the definition of "hate speech" can seem to be rather elusive. According to Canada's human rights commission, hate speech is that which may "tend to expose people" to "disparagement or ridicule" because of their "race, sex, religion, ethnicity, or sexual preference" among other things. One wonders how many groups really at some time or another fail to avoid, inadvertently or not, language that puts them into this category. One might even wonder if this very UN commission, by labeling us in the US as bigot loving libertines, is committing infractions of this sort.
One needn't lay awake at night worrying about the UN of course. This agency, presumably endowed with the very best experts in the world at identifying what is and what isn't "hate speech", can steer clear of this forbidden category. If you don't believe so just ask them. In the meantime though those of us who are not endowed with their great wisdom continue to wonder how we can avoid these little verbal miscues, at best "insensitivity's", which easily arise when discussing these sensitive areas. The easiest way of course is just to avoid these areas entirely, unless you are one of the liberals whose speech is PC certified to be completely sensitive to all such concerns. This is perhaps what most people, even including many so-called "conservatives" do to avoid the wrath of these modern censors.
The question arises of course how did this penchant for regulating speech arise, in our supposedly tolerant and permissive age? The issue of speech regulation indeed contains a number of great ironies. One of the chief of these is that modern free speech law, which is now used by the attorneys of the numerous groups which run afoul of the anti-hate group crowd, were originally designed to protect the rights of many of the very groups which are so indignant today about the way other groups exercise these rights. Leftwing groups and minority groups, which were once the target of laws attacking their legitimacy and civil rights on the basis they were viewed as a threat to society, now aggressively use this argument to curtail speech they dislike, while the marginal right-wing groups they attack use the same arguments in court their county sheriff and prosecutor forbears probably fought against as protecting "vagrancy, criminality, subversion and un-American behavior".
The whole "hate speech" question, as do all civil liberties questions,invoke issues of political legitimacy, democratic accountability, civic harmony, and the cultural values essential to a free society. What liberties must free societies tolerate, and what liberties must they circumscribe top reserve this very freedom? Much depends on the nature of society and the view of liberty of a culture. Much also depends on the political methodology of the elite groups running a society however, and their wishes for culture and society, not only as it is, but how they wish it to evolve.
The increasing prevalence of regulations against "hate speech" as well as other forms of censorship shows the increasing fear of freedom the new global elites dominating the UN and other global organizations increasingly fear, as well as the increasingly brazen means they are willing to use to attack it. It shows a shift in the evolving world struggle for political supremacy, from an obstensively libertarian tolerant view of society and man, to an increasingly doctrinaire emphasis on political hegemony by the world power elite. This struggle for hegemony is undertaken, as is the habit of the left, through obstensively democratic ideals, adapted to function towards the purposes of a totalitarian society, as is common for the left. A detailed view of the rhetoric used by the worldwide leftist elite shows exactly how this use of language is accomplished:
Look for Part-2 soon!
Back to the Bulletin