By M.K. Styllinski
Freedom of Speech
Right, as stated in the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, to express information, ideas, and opinions free of government restrictions based on content. A modern legal test of the legitimacy of proposed restrictions on freedom of speech was stated in the opinion by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in Schenk v. U.S. (1919): a restriction is legitimate only if the speech in question poses a “clear and present danger”—i.e., a risk or threat to safety or to other public interests that is serious and imminent. Many cases involving freedom of speech and of the press also have concerned defamation, obscenity, and prior restraint. – Encyclopedia Britannica
uk /ˈhɪs.i ˌfɪt/ us /ˈhɪs.i ˌfɪt/ informal: a sudden period of uncontrolled and silly anger like a child. – Cambridge English Dictionary
No, the above sub-heading is not a reference to Hillary Clinton’s embarrassingly awful publishing deal in which she attempts to cast herself as saintly victim of (non-existent) Russian malfeasance. This is about what happened to the principles of the left and its liberal brother; why we are seeing such psychological chaos rising up through left-liberal activism and the younger, socially-minded generations.
Take a look a some of these headlines from the past few years:
SJWs finally lose it: California college students claim no such thing as truth, ‘Truth’ is a tool of white supremacy
Compelled speech comes to Canada: Citizens using the ‘wrong’ gender pronoun could be accused of hate crimes
Hyper-activists target Confederate monuments across U.S. as Baltimore calls for them to be torn down
Fired Google engineer Damore says the company is hiring and promoting workers based on race or gender
30 years ago when I was a young, very bewildered 18 year-old, I was firmly of the belief that environmentalism and a liberal sprinkling of old school Marxism was just the ticket for a more humane and just society. Times have radically changed. Or maybe I just grew up. If my 18 year-old self could have had a brief window into his 48 year old future self that now sides with conservative values over left-liberal activism, he would have shook his head at the horror of it all.
Admittedly, I often think I’ve of stumbled into an alternate reality.
The truth is, I don’t naturally resonate to conservatism, moderate or otherwise. If you had to rubber stamp my forehead with an “-ism” then it would have to be agorism with a dash of old, peace-loving anarchism in the truest sense of the word. Nevertheless, I count myself as a liberal on certain issues, more libertarian or conservative on others. Call it a pick ‘n’ mix position of the best that our philosophical and political traditions can offer.
Shouldn’t that be the whole point in a sane and rational world?
Most political ideologies – much like most religions – have at their inception nuggets of golden knowledge which can potentially enrich societies. Obviously, that approach is not what we have in the world; only “My way or the highway” rules the day. Equally, this is not about whether we are left or right-leaning in our worldview and further entrenching the problem along partisan lines. This is concerned with upholding free speech for everyone so that reasoned discourse can be given the chance to prevail. Such a principle is unalterable for very precise reasons, as we will discover over the course of this series.
When I use the terms “moderate conservatism” and “left” or “left-liberal” I refer to the mindset rather than whatever political party is in power. The latter is irrelevant since the Conservative and Labour parties in the UK and the Democrat and Republican parties in the United States are still very much under the yoke of the (Deep) State’s social and economic dictates. It is this essential point that much of the left-liberal worldview is missing and gives nourishment to far right fringe groups by adopting an increasing and equally authoritarian line. This may sound very odd indeed if you consider yourself a traditional fighter of the liberal-left. But we will be explore how much of the left has been comprehensively ponerised i.e. infected by radical beliefs, in turn, turbo-charged by pathology and the implications for free speech.
I also want to make it absolutely clear that I am not throwing the baby out with the bath-water and suggesting that there is no racism, sexism or bigotry in general or that it should somehow be ignored. It does occur and it should be called out – if it is genuine. There has been great strides in addressing these issues, far greater progress has been made than one would think if listening to 3rd wave feminists, anti-racists and the like.
Which is why the focus is about those who have a vested interest in perpetuating and inflaming these “issues” due to their own psychological predispositions rather than any genuine wish to see a more equitable and fair society.
As the world becomes increasingly unstable (particularly in America) this mindset is growing like a virulent fungus and represents a dangerous threat to free speech and expression. It will mean whether we live in a democracy (however fragile that may be at present) or a form of soft totalitarianism that sometimes crudely or very subtly determines what you say or think. In other words: fascism. This is a shift which has developed through a form of neuro-hacking over decades, creating division and apparent tribalism, yet paradoxically encouraging conformity through a form of vertical collectivism. As I stated in World State Policies I:
So, what form has this “socialism” in the West actually taken? Simply put, collectivism is the opposite of individualism, where group thought, philosophy, action and principle overrides the needs of the individual. The term can be divided into horizontal collectivism and vertical collectivism. The former is collective decision-making among largely equal individuals, and is therefore based on decentralisation, while the latter is drawn from hierarchical power structures and socio-cultural conformity, and is based on centralisation. While such a drive to group endeavour can bring out the positive aspects of our interdependence and our shared experiences across the planet, the kind of collectivism we will explore is an overreaching form that employs both vertical and distorted horizontal forms into one vast entity – its expression having been ponerised by emerging strains of psychopathy. The onset of ponerogenesis will manifest by whatever channels deemed suitable in order to achieve Pathocracy. Remember that none of these ideologies are evil in themselves, but used in a pathocratic context, they become tools of destruction.
It is manifesting in complex, perhaps irreversible ways, through the very traditions that ostensibly speak up for the oppressed and disenfranchised. Such a collective social conscience is in danger of being replaced by a something quite different. It is being seeded in the younger generations who are least able to process its effects, therefore becoming it’s primary foot-soldiers. Since they are our future, this should be a concern to us all.; if that is, we can step outside our political allegiances and look squarely at the nature of the beast.
“Thanks to postmodernism, we tend to see all facts as meaningless trivia, no one more vital than any other. Yet this disregard for facts qua facts is intellectually crippling. Facts are the raw material of thought, and the knowledge of significant facts makes sophisticated thought possible.”
The “hate speech” canard is now trotted out for anyone’s opposing view that pokes holes in left-liberal opinions about morality and values. The clear and present danger of incitement and physical harm to one’s safety from true hate speech has now been redefined and expanded to include scratching the surface of anyone’s comfort-zone and entitlement. One’s cherished beliefs that fuel identity politics is deemed of greater importance than a host of issues desperately needing attention. If someone touched someone’s ass in Parliament or Congress, perhaps a bitter and twisted troll has a vitriolic rant on Twitter, then the mainstream media and all manner of offended “activists” are triggered into viral hysteria. The pressing issues of our day that desperately need addressing are always lost in the noise and this is of benefit to The Three Model Establishment that is no doubt clapping its hands with glee.
Regardless of the rise in Islamic radicalism, the far-right and neo-Nazism, to limit free speech through an authoritarian demand for everyone to be similarly outraged and masked as progressivism is not in any anyone’s interest. It will undoubtedly embolden the extreme right – the very ideology that left-liberals hate. It is surely the absolutism of free speech that protects us all and allows the greatest defence of democracy, even if we “hate” the opinions of those that exercise that right because it allows the free flow of critique and measured protest that naturally acts as a firewall to this kind of idiocy. Fighting fire with fire merely makes the general conflagration much hotter and burns down the very podium from which we fanned the flames.
What is needed is a true education that encourages an intellectual rigour and applied knowledge that naturally shows the fallacies in fascism of all creeds and colours; something which many universities are failing to do. Indeed, many academics are instilling extreme principles of postmodernist values into the young and creating a climate of hyperreactivity. It is the broad-brush term of postmodernism that has a very large part to play in the present manifestation of the hissy fit culture and the dominance of the radical left. It is the idiocy of blind belief that is now dominating social discourse and the promise of genuine social conscience.
A Postmodernist No-Man’s Land
(How sexist of me: the above sub-heading includes the crime of “no-man’s land.” According to the new left thought police it should be gender neutral – perhaps “collective-cisgender-land”? This is the level of postmodernist insanity we have reached. More on this in a later post).
The first post in this series is an introduction to a seemingly intractable problem: postmodernist philosophy which underpins left-liberal ideology. As the name implies, postmodernism it is a reaction against the negative wave of changes that modernism wrought in early 19th and 20th Century Western society. It claims to question the authority, scientific certainties and legacy of Enlightenment reason through the worship of subjectivity, moral relativism and the non-existence of objective truth.
As a very general term for a range of beliefs and theories, postmodernism can be a creative and insightful philosophy with a raft of arts and literary pioneers from Foucault to Sartre. Nonetheless, the overwhelming engine of its influence has been a denial of objectivity, truth, reason and social progress in favour of nihilistic criticism resting on a bedrock of atheism. Knowledge and Truth are merely products of social constructivism and thus a waste of time. Such a platform of subjective logic can essentially justify anything, including the validity of every viewpoint, thus its critics accuse it of obscuritanism since it actually offers the same modernism labouring under the delusion that such tortured philosophising can produce a practical contribution to the human condition. It often inflates the intellect to monstrous degrees while adopting ascending spirals of critique which provide no resolution or practical, real-world applications. Criticism is certainly needed concerning our socio-cultural and political roots in the West but this has transformed into a very different animal under postmodernist thinking. This way of looking at the world has slowly altered the impetus and nature of social justice and activist groupings, twisting the very concept of free speech into a conditional, even irrelevant footnote to our notion of democracy.
To hopelessly cross-conceptualise and conflate a range of muddied beliefs with “social justice” is the ultimate in irony. When such a value-less philosophy becomes a trenchant ideology and promotes an exclusively subjective and amoral perception then it can only become a major driver of Official Culture; reason, logic and a lack of critical thinking are lost in the noise of black and white thinking. Complexity and nuance do not offer the same emotional dividends. The postmodernist “anything goes” appeal is the perfect materialist, techno-urban belief for our times; completely disconnected from Being and celebrated for its black hole of Non-Being for all. In other words, it is philosophical word salad which amounts to intellectual masturbation, omitting real-world realities as well as more metaphysical concepts that have proven to nourish and give meaning to the human condition.
In summary, the basic building blocks of postmodernism are now being used as a cynical attempt to offer a philosophical social conscience through collective social restructuring. Yet, it does so through semantics, rhetoric, sophistry and a confused fusion of epistemological and ontological bias toward pessimism and cynicism, (the former is the study of knowing, the latter the study of being). This approach only leads to a negation of perennial human morals and values, which, generally speaking have acted as a lodestar for humanity in the darkest of times.
One of many examples, the influence of postmodernist philosophy and its neo-Marxist partner was illustrated in spectacular fashion earlier this year at Pomona Liberal Arts College in Claremont, California. A group of students who saw themselves as “marginalised” demanded (a word crops up a lot for such people) that no one should be allowed to have a platform for hateful speech. Recall that “hate speech” now means anyone whom they judge to be counter to their opinions on race, gender equality and politics and on this occasion, it was Heather MacDonald’s visit to campus that caused a “liberal” hissy fit.
A conservative critic of the Black Lives Matter movement she is one of many people, not necessarily conservative, whom certain students have labelled a “white supremacist” and therefore, to be prevented from speaking. This label is used in the same way as hate speech, namely as a means to create extremism where there is none, which then justifies in their minds the restrictions on speaking at university campus, despite such activist opinions proving to be factually wrong 99.9% of the time. (MacDonald and so many similar persons banned from campuses are not remotely white supremacists.). Tarring someone with the hate speech canard is an important ideological tool to demonise others because it bolsters their own entitlement and justifies (in their minds) the overreaction and group-think fascism of which they are guilty.
The protest letter penned by the students and sent to the College president, is a perfect rendering of postmodernist influence. Here’s one passage of a longer rant which goes to the heart of their ideology:
“Historically, white supremacy has venerated the idea of objectivity, and wielded a dichotomy of ‘subjectivity vs. objectivity’ as a means of silencing oppressed peoples. The idea that there is a single truth–‘the Truth’–is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain. This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny. The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples.” 
There you have it: objectivity – the search for knowledge and truth is dismissed, as is the Enlightenment which is all then equated with white supremacy. Of course, the United States and Europe were founded on the slave trade and imperialism, facets of which continue to this day. But to lump a “single truth” as inherently racist, sexist and supremacist and thereby reject the most precious aspect of the human condition – to search for truth – displays frightening stupidity. The search for truth is therefore, an attempt “to silence oppressed peoples.”
You see where this is going?
The only ability that is endangered is their capacity to respond using critical thinking, since they make it clear it is their feelings that are of paramount importance. Which is why there is a literal black and white understanding of history, the myopia of which feeds their victimhood and infantilism, in turn, diluting genuine issues of human rights and oppression that still exist across the world. The tract is so horribly confused that it amounts to a classic schizoidal declaration, trumpeting a petulant ignorance more than justifiable rights. As Robby Soave points out in a reason.com article which explores this case, he finds the letter: “…one of the more transparent rejections of liberal values from self-professed liberals that I have ever had the displeasure of reading.”  Crying wolf in this context is not only tedious but it will cause a back-lash the likes which will harm everyone, causing contentious issues to be driven underground.
Similarly, free speech is seen as yet another tool of the imperialist oppressor with the usual postmodern trope that there is no separation between action and words: “Free speech, a right many freedom movements have fought for, has recently become a tool appropriated by hegemonic institutions…It has not just empowered students from marginalized backgrounds to voice their qualms and criticize aspects of the institution, but it has given those who seek to perpetuate systems of domination a platform to project their bigotry.”  Unfortunately, and with painful irony, they highlight the true nature of free speech only to justify their own bigotry and intolerance by ignoring it.
No speaker at any university which has been confronted by this kind of pseudo-social justice has incited violence or hatred, but the mere presence of an opinion that is so painful to their identity feels like hate speech, so that it becomes hate speech in their addled minds. They create their own reality based on protecting their fragile individual sensibilities across a broad panopoly of cultural appropriation, reparations and sexist barbs. Since there is no objective truth, only subjectivity, they can demand and believe anything they like as long as it conforms to their belief of choice. However distasteful some of us may find certain individuals’ beliefs and opinions, free speech is afforded to all. If one consensus of opinion rises above another, free speech is dead. Period.
According to Soave: “…more than 20 students boldly attached their names to the document, with a further to demand to expel any member of The Claremont Independent who publishes the list of names—doing so would ‘endanger the well-being’ of the marginalized students.” He goes on to state, quite rightly: “Since these students see no difference between words and actions, it seems more than fitting to turn their own language against them: in penning a letter that disparages objective truth, mocks free speech, and smears all dissenters as racists, the student-authors continue to endangered the well-being of the entire higher education system.”
And this is the crux of the matter: the endangerment of their fragile personas has meant the endangerment of free speech and the education system – such as it is. When postmodernism becomes politicised and underpins ideology as an educational force then it is an academic pressure based not on accumulation of knowledge tested through experience but resting on the shifting sands of relativism where facts are there to be ignored or reinterpreted according to one’s whims and opinions. Navel-gazing can achieve high art of intellectual virtuosity in the same way as a narcissist can admire himself in a series of infinite mirrors; they reflect an entertaining mirage but never manage to engage with a reality that brings forth a world outside the ego.
There is an objective reality we can all strive to know, in my view. When science is allowed to do what it does best – analyse and collect data qualitatively and quantitatively and offer deductive and empirical evidence – this can be complemented with intuition, myths and insights that lie in the realms beyond this material world. Patterns and cycles of existence show a symmetry and purpose that opens up new vistas of creative endeavour and innovation. Without such striving, a sense of purpose and meaning is extinguished leaving postmodernist philosophy to easily fill that void with nihilism; the kind of position that offers nothing to society yet offers much to militancy as it does to apathy and negation of Being. Which is why some Millennials are succumbing to this influence since it side-steps response-ability in the face of uncertainty and the unknown.
Cultural theorist Charles Jencks justified the nihilistic drive of postmodernism as “picking over a corpse” that is Western culture, yet it is hard to see why if its only purpose is to prop up a relativistic vacuum where joy and higher emotion are absent. Since social construction and its determinism is all there is, all one can do is dissect the flesh of existence in order to know more of the minutiae of its pointless functioning. Such a thing as objective truth is denied which gives carte blanche for moral and ethical relativism to dominate; a case of reason eating the tail of reason where nothing essentially matters anymore since it is all in the mind of the beholder. If everything is reduced to epistemological meanderings constructed by the hamster wheel of men’s minds and nothing can come to intellectual fruition, then why give value to knowledge? Let’s all just eat worms and die…
“The dominant theories of elite art and criticism in the 20th century grew out of a militant denial of human nature. One legacy is ugly, baffling, and insulting art. The other is pretentious and unintelligible scholarship. And they’re surprised that people are staying away in droves?”
― Steven Pinker,
This philosophy and its increasingly ideological infiltration into most societal domains is the primary source for a host of ills. It is the bedrock of leftist radicalism which can only exacerbate and encourage conflict with radicalism of the right, all of which infects the whole. Liberals of varying types and hues may have a chink in the armour of their beliefs since they are attracted at least to the idea of liberty and equality. Free speech is a central pillar of their ideals based on reason and individual volition; speech and action are separate. Postmodernists and the now dominant influence of cultural Marxism believe in the enforced equalisation of all based on social constructivism and social determinism. The corollary is that speech is inseparable from action and seen as an ever-present spectre of harm from which we have to be protected. Ergo, free speech must be constrained and censorship embraced if we are to limit any sort of prejudice and offence, thus obtain truly free societies.
Pair this with a narcissistic culture of addiction and we have in Jungian terms, the mass projection of our shadows and in Freudian parlance, our crystallised defence mechanisms cranked up to pathological status. It explains why we are living in such crazy times where logic and reason are turned on their heads and few bat an eyelid. Quite right too the postmodernists would say: “There is no truth, only the dissolution of cultural hegemony and its power.” But power has to go somewhere and it will find another suitable vessel from which to seed chaos if those vessels are merely socially engineered reproductions of the original ills.
Once again, this is not to write off the postmodern movement which encompasses a great deal of variation on a theme. Postmodernists have offered a sometimes eloquent whirl-wind of intellectual insights into the vagaries of what we assume is reality and the manifestations of ideas and culture. For instance, we can certainly be living in an artificial copy of a world taken for authentic, where the “real world” is masked by an ultra-materialist ethos and disconnected from our ability to access an ontological reality that would liberate us. (Official Culture). After all, this was part and parcel of what postmodernist theorist Jean Baudrillard was exploring in his discussion of nihilism and its relationship to meaning and symbols in society. (His Simulacra and Simulation (1981) was one of the inspirations behind Hollywood’s The Matrix trilogy (1999-2003). However, these insights are merely a by-product of a dead-end interpretation. Postmodernism’s essential conclusion was that we are submerged in a void of melancholic hopelessness inherent in modern culture and mass production; endless copies of copies of copies without the original; (although pertinent to the age or social networks, AI and automation) and paints a bleak picture of a world without remedy as an intrinsic product of man and materialism. It is characteristic of the postmodernists perception and is underscored in this quotation from Baudrillard:
The apocalypse is finished, today it is the precession of the neutral, of forms of the neutral and of indifference…all that remains, is the fascination for desertlike and indifferent forms, for the very operation of the system that annihilates us. Now, fascination (in contrast to seduction, which was attached to appearances, and to dialectical reason, which was attached to meaning) is a nihilistic passion par excellence, it is the passion proper to the mode of disappearance. We are fascinated by all forms of disappearance, of our disappearance. Melancholic and fascinated, such is our general situation in an era of involuntary transparency. 
All true of course. With the increasing imposition of a SMART society the disorientation of what postmodernist’s label “hyperreality” – where we cannot distinguish between fiction and objective reality within a technological context – is ever more relevant. Yet, it is only one slice of reality in transition; ever moving, always fluid and in a state of flux. The difference in other traditions of philosophical exploration is that it doesn’t finish there as an inescapable existential void – evident from their own all-encompassing subjectivity which is like shifting sands, devoid of truisms. Nor should it be elevated to an social ideology applicable to the real world as it stands. All that results is further extensions of the same nihilistic “simulacra and simulations” which postmodernists appear to worship as an end in itself. That doesn’t leave much room for conscience, values of creativity, morality and applied knowledge which have proved resistant to macrosocial evil in the past. Shunning the light of actual concrete action in favour of an infinitely reducible relativism of morals and values can only become more ridiculous by the day, especially when it is taken on by the intellect of millennials and Generation Z who have been exposed to this programming since knee-high.
The consequences of this will be a population that is stripped of their individual uniqueness of character; we’ll all be the same, living in a bland mediocrity of group consciousness; there will be no conflict because there will be no objective truth; everyone is right and no one is wrong; everyone is a winner and no one is a loser – because everyone will be dead inside. Sound familiar? Remember outcome-based education? Common Core? Common Purpose? Fabian gradualism? Smart society and technocratic consensus? This is just the philosophical arm of social engineering – an example of neuro-hacking, par excellence. It is one of the root causes of university indoctrination programs; the screaming hissy fits of the new Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) and many leftist groups and why it has been giving a blow-horn status in the media. Social justice is necessary, even essential. But what we have is a subversion and distortion of the very definition of social justice by a form of radicalism that seeks only to project their inner bile and angst onto the world. Feelings are the primary value, facts are of little consequence.
We can begin to see why this appeals to those who value endless philosophizing, a risk-averse position and who want to give everything and everyone its due by denying everything and everyone their due if it doesn’t fit with the chosen narrative. Of course, this applies to any far right ideology too. Once again, the difference is that the psychology studies of the far-right are extensive, despite the fact that extreme nationalism is still fringe. Yet, postmodernism and its neo-Marxist roots are fully mainstreamed and part of the media, social sciences and humanities in higher education, social activism and social welfare systems of our day, having arrived through the back door of socialist workers’ emancipation and Marxist academia. And it is this back door – this huge gap in left-liberal awareness – that has allowed it to happen.
The more authoritarian it becomes the more it reflects and emboldens the far right, awakening shadows that would have been best left alone.
This is producing a lot of cognitive dissonance for many good-hearted liberals as they wrestle with the manifestation of postmodernism’s hyper-reactivity and their encouragement for us all to be highly offended at the slightest whiff of divergent views. The radical left along with apathy and laziness within much of academia are fully infected with this nonsense to varying degrees. How to have a social conscience when you are living in a climate of faux-civility, where walking on glass and eggshells passes for true exchange? How can we engage with the practical problems of the day if we buy into the restriction of language and thus our thought processes? Fear of being ostracised from one’s peer group is the choice, yet this is precisely what needs to happen if we are to have a chance of reversing a filthy tide of nihilism.
Thank God most people don’t give a shit.
Unfortunately, here’s where it gets insidious.
 ‘Pomona College Students Say There’s No Such Thing as Truth, ‘Truth’ Is a Tool of White Supremacy” –Demand expulsion of conservative journalists for reporting on campus illiberalism at Claremont By Robby Soave, reason.com,
 Simulacra and Simulation (The Body in Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism) This edition (1994) By Jean Baudrillard and Sheila Glaser https://www.amazon.co.uk/Simulacra-Simulation-Body-Theory-Materialism/dp/0472065211