From Liberal to Authoritarian

by W.F. Price on January 27, 2014

Sean McElwee is an ambitious young man who, from the looks of his resumé, is set on becoming a “thought leader” attached to what pass for respectable publications today (fat chance — the kid didn’t make the Ivies). He’s anti-gun, anti-Evangelical Christian, anti-libertarian, anti-Walmart, etc. However, there is an important difference between Mr. McElwee and your old hippie-style liberals: he’s an authoritarian who wants to silence people he disagrees with:

For the past few years speech has moved online, leading to fierce debates about its regulation. Most recently, feminists have led the charge to purge Facebook of misogyny that clearly violates its hate speech code. Facebook took a small step two weeks ago, creating a feature that will remove ads from pages deemed “controversial.” But such a move is half-hearted; Facebook and other social networking websites should not tolerate hate speech and, in the absence of a government mandate, adopt a European model of expunging offensive material.

Stricter regulation of Internet speech will not be popular with the libertarian-minded citizens of the United States, but it’s necessary…

[...]

American free speech jurisprudence relies upon the assumption that speech is merely the extension of a thought, and not an action. If we consider it an action, then saying that we should combat hate speech with more positive speech is an absurd proposition; the speech has already done the harm, and no amount of support will defray the victim’s impression that they are not truly secure in this society. We don’t simply tell the victim of a robbery, “Hey, it’s okay, there are lots of other people who aren’t going to rob you.” Similarly, it isn’t incredibly useful to tell someone who has just had their race/gender/sexuality defamed, “There are a lot of other nice people out there.”

Those who claim to “defend free speech” when they defend the right to post hate speech online, are in truth backwards. Free speech isn’t an absolute right; no right is weighed in a vacuum. The court has imposed numerous restrictions on speech. Fighting words, libel and child pornography are all banned. Other countries merely go one step further by banning speech intended to intimidate vulnerable groups. The truth is that such speech does not democratize speech, it monopolizes speech. Women, LGBTQ individuals and racial or religious minorities feel intimidated and are left out of the public sphere. On Reddit, for example, women have left or changed their usernames to be more male-sounding lest they face harassment and intimidation for speaking on Reddit about even the most gender-neutral topics. Even outside of the intentionally offensive sub-reddits (i.e. /r/imgoingtohellforthis) misogyny is pervasive.

When I was a kid back in the 80s, we were taught that one of the main characteristics of conservatives is that they are “authoritarian.” It was widely believed that liberals believed in individual freedom, including freedom of expression, sexual freedom, freedom of movement and so on. Until about that time, this may have been true to some extent. However, things started to change, and mostly from the top down. Political correctness took hold in universities in the 80s, largely at the demand of radical feminists. One might find it puzzling that liberating women would lead to greater restrictions on intellectual freedom, but that is in fact what happened.

As Heartiste pointed out in a recent article about women and liberalism, women are significantly more collectivist by nature, and have a lower threshold for the “disgust” reaction. Therefore, they tend to support measures that punish outsiders or people who act on individual initiative. I would characterize this as “herd” behavior, as opposed to more male-oriented “team” behavior (more on that soon).

Although they’ve played an important role, especially in universities, it isn’t solely because of feminists that “liberals” have become authoritarian; it is the nature of power to seek to preserve itself. If you’re at the top of the heap, it’s mighty tempting to try to decide which thoughts are acceptable and which are off-limits. I suspect the Internet has given even more urgency to this impulse, as the mainstream media seeks to preserve its place as the font of respectable opinion. But you’d think that they would at least continue to defend – if not embrace – the concept of a free press. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

Today, as young McElwee demonstrates, denouncing the free press is the sort of thing that identifies a “good young man” — a right-thinker. When I was Sean’s age, I realized that I’d never make the cut under the new rules – I’m constitutionally incapable of toeing their line – so I gave up on trying to join them. I could already see the writing on the wall around the year 2000, so I abandoned the idea of getting involved in mainstream media, choosing instead to lead a humble life. However, ironically, rejecting the constraints of contemporary political correctness has been a blessing and has given me many more opportunities to express myself. When you subordinate your own opinions and speak only within collectively-defined parameters, it feels like you’ve sold your soul.

So, in a sense I feel sorry for the young men out there who are doing the dirty work for left-authoritarians. I’d advise them, if they’d only listen, to feel free to be themselves, and to allow others to do the same. They should keep in mind that in striving to control, you can become something of a slave yourself.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Little John January 27, 2014 at 12:39

Hate speech is simply speech that liberals hate.

Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 49 Thumb down 3
keyster January 27, 2014 at 13:15

There’s a new “radical” youth movement of Libertarianism that’s exposing the old Progressive model for what it’s really all about – central control of the unwashed masses (for the greater good). Add this to the NSA spying debacle and the failure of Obamacare (mostly seen through the web site), and a now two-thirds of the country feel that Big Government encroachment is a #1 concern.

Leftist/Progs feel very threatened that the agenda is losing steam, that Obama may have over-reached and a swift move to the Right is taking place. Any criticism is “hate”, and therefore must be stricken from the internet. Why is it OK to criticize, mock and ridicule evangelical, hetero-normative white males, and yet everyone else is off limits? The double standards the Left promulgates is POWER; it silences dissent which is exactly what they want.

Fox News, talk radio, the WSJ and the internet are all filled with HATE, lies and deceit. While the rest of the MSM is tolerant and objective – carefully selecting and defining news based on what they think you should know and not know. Anyone with a url and WordPress now has a voice. Nothing could be more important to a Democratic society and the 1st Amendment….even if some things said are disagreeable to a given ideology and/or orthodoxy. The Public Square is alive and well.

Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 1
Tam the Bam January 27, 2014 at 14:28

If we consider it an action, then saying that we should combat hate speech with more positive speech is an absurd proposition; the speech has already done the harm, and no amount of support will defray the victim’s impression
..hold it right there, mister!

“Intent is not magic”
I haz teh deja-vooz :(

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geographybeefinalisthimself January 27, 2014 at 14:35

“So, in a sense I feel sorry for the young men out there who are doing the dirty work for left-authoritarians. I’d advise them, if they’d only listen, to feel free to be themselves, and to allow others to do the same. They should keep in mind that in striving to control, you can become something of a slave yourself.”

I wouldn’t feel sorry for these young men. They will probably only turn conservative when they are mugged by reality and nobody is putting a gun to their temples to hold these views.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1
The Other Jim January 27, 2014 at 14:41

“Sean McElwee is an ambitious young man who, from the looks of his resumé, is set on becoming a “thought leader” attached to what pass for respectable publications today (fat chance — the kid didn’t make the Ivies). He’s anti-gun, anti-Evangelical Christian, anti-libertarian, anti-Walmart, etc. However, there is an important difference between Mr. McElwee and your old hippie-style liberals: he’s an authoritarian who wants to silence people he disagrees with:”

Didn’t we use to call these people “Useful Idiots”?

Crying “Hate Speech” and trying to censor people seems to be the new tactic for Leftists like McElwee and the SPLC. The vile Seamus Milne at the Grauniad(UK) also falls into this category. It seems the old default Leftist tactic of shrieking “Racism!!!/Homophobia!!!/Misogyny!!!/Islamophobia!!!/Look!!! A SQUIRREL!!!” just isn’t working as well as it used to be. Perhaps people are seeing through this cheap and sleazy tactic which attempts to end the debate, not further it. It’s deflection, not discussion and it is a vile scheme by Leftists to derail intellectual debate.

Sadly, Europe, the UK, Australia, and even Canada point to the vision where the McElwee’s of the West want to take the US. Whether it’s banning critics of Global Cooling/Warming/Lukewarming/whatever…to putting critics of Islam on trial including Geert Wilders, Elizabeth Sabaditsch Wolff, Jyllens-Post Mo-Toons, the Canadian Human Rights Commission putting comedians on trial for mocking hecklers who turned out to be lesbians, as well as the travails of Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn v. the BC Human Rights Commission, it’s abundantly clear the Left very much about clamping down on speech and thought.

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JB January 27, 2014 at 16:36

Sean McElwee is just a little cocksucker.

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Harry Offermans January 27, 2014 at 16:46

Smels like a coming civilwar.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2
Walhaz January 27, 2014 at 17:55

@JB- “Sean McElwee is just a little cocksucker.”

QFT!

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Lurker January 27, 2014 at 18:50

@JB- “Sean McElwee is just a little cocksucker.”

Not really, he’s just opportunist. Most people in power are opportunistic to some degree. Calling him a cocksucker implies that he’s just being passive.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
Troll King January 27, 2014 at 20:24

He’s anti-gun, anti-Evangelical Christian, anti-libertarian, anti-Walmart,

While I agree with your piece, especially with regards to how fuckin stupid hate speech laws are-err, strike that…how Orwellian they are- and how they are used primarily against men, due to men being freethinkers and not so immersed in the herd mentality compared to women, I do wonder about the examples you gave.

It is kinda strange to me how guys in the manosphere show their politics while supposedly advocating for all men and boys. I constantly find myself turned off by it, even though I agree with so much of what I have read. Take the four examples you gave to condemn this man? I could form a well thought out argument against two of those, or all of them really, that would come close to my personal beliefs.

I think this is one of the worst elements of our tribe. How can I, or others for that matter, agree with so much-or at the very least identify and agree with some of the problems and bad actors facing men and boys, while still disagreeing with other elements. It is difficult to be one foot in and one foot out.

So, welmer, what is so bad about those four things that this idiot is against? Those four things being, “He’s anti-gun, anti-Evangelical Christian, anti-libertarian, anti-Walmart,?”

It seems to me that these four things are all over the place on a political/social philosophy level. Which is why it seems so out of place, especially considering that you are condemning him due to him wanting to limit speech or more accurately access to non-”correct” ideas and arguments.

Understand that I am not trying to pick a fight or anything, so let me explain.

For starters, being anti-libertarian and also anti-walmart seems somewhat strange to me. This is due to the fact that most of the anti-walmart people I have met are either outright libertarian(or libertarian leaning) individuals or if they are not they put forth libertarian arguments disguised, most often, as liberal arguments.

So, let’s start at the basics. I like walmart. I shop there. Just went there a few hours ago to get some new gym clothes cause I got a few free months at the rush as a bday gift the other day. But let’s not confuse things. Walmart is bad for communities. They put small businesses out of business. They build their mega-stores right outside of city limits, and other juristictions, so they can get away with not paying certain taxes. By drowning out local resources they are able to effect local wages, thereby driving down peoples standard of living while manipulating markets….did I mention how they manipulate markets.

All of the things I just listed, to one degree or another depending on your flavor of libertarianism, is anti-libertarian. Now, I know there are other arguments, that again are usually libertarian-ist, put forward against walmart…namely about exploiting kids in developing countries.

So, anyways. It just seems odd. Now, due to my own beliefs I don’t have much of a bone to pick with a lot of these things. I am not too fond of evangelicals, not cause I am a rabid atheist who gets bent out of shape about everything but more due to the fact that most of the ones I have known, and I have known many(especially converts), have simply been hypocrites. And nobody likes a hypocrite.

I am fairly libertarian and I am pro-gun, though that is a bit weird of a way to phrase it to me. A better term would probably be pro-constitution….to a point anyways.

So, welmer, do you see what I am getting at…or what we say in the south: Do you smell what I’m steppin en?…

It seems odd to use such a disparate set of examples as proof that he is .

I think part of my problem is that we have become so atomized that unless you really understand and study this stuff that you really can’t make such sweeping generalizations. Sure, you can poll people in the south or west or north-east but all you end up with is finding out the opinions and politics of idiots willing to sit on the phone for half an hour and answer questions about their views.

Maybe I am nitpicking a bit but all those examples just seem odd and somewhat mutually exclusive and even if they aren’t I don’t understand how they fit into any sort of political set.

Here in the Volunteer state I can find blue collar guys that are yellow dog dems who hunt and rail against walmart for shutting out their dads trucking business who also happen to be evangelicals, or other denominations, who drink and curse and womanize during the week(my types of peeps) and put on the suite and tie on sunday morning and act all godly. I can also find the exact opposite on the republican side, which would be guys who aren’t connecting to their communities, are generally non-practicing Christians on paper only, who haven’t shot a gun in their life and went to prep schools and ivies and eat weird types of salads I couldn’t pronounce for the life of me.

My .02 from a southern classical liberal philosopher who is an atheist when things are going fine and a secularist believer when things are rough. Unfortunately I don’t have any money to spend on any guns, but I do enjoy the range and looking at pics online…check out r/guns sometime….and I would also be one of the first to endorse some new regulations on both civilians and police with respect to firearms.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6
Gilgamesh January 27, 2014 at 22:37

It’s funny, I always forget that there are subreddits that aren’t gay (try r/antipozi sometime)

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
Zeta Male January 28, 2014 at 06:25

As I slowly digest my “Red Pill” I will continue to work only as hard as I want to (no more weekends, sorry boss !) and I will not be nagged or shammed into serving anything that is harmful to my mental, physical, and spiritual state of being, hence I think this lil’ ass-wipe can come over to my house and mow my lawn and wash my car !

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ron January 28, 2014 at 08:33

There was so much beautiful wisdom in this post. There is something very beautiful and tragic about you Mr. Price. Something truly wonderful.

God bless you man.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
Jabberwocky January 28, 2014 at 19:08

When they take away my 1st Amendment is when I start using my 2nd Amendment.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
tiredofitall January 28, 2014 at 21:38

So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot. – George Orwell

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cxj January 29, 2014 at 00:24

It seems that pc crybabies are the only ones pressuring Facebook to do lame thought policing like this. To be fair to facebook, they are a company that listens to its customers. Perhaps the feminazi censors are simply louder than people wanting free speech? Maybe the rest of us should work harder at getting our voices heard to facebook that we as users do not want a censored service.

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Mike January 29, 2014 at 05:41

@Troll King

“I think this is one of the worst elements of our tribe. How can I, or others for that matter, agree with so much-or at the very least identify and agree with some of the problems and bad actors facing men and boys, while still disagreeing with other elements. It is difficult to be one foot in and one foot out.”

Welcome to being an individual.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
ng85 January 29, 2014 at 09:37

YES YES YES!!! This post exactly mirrors my thoughts on “free speech” in this country in the context of the red pill. The college I went to was pretty damn liberal, and I drank the Kool-Aid and bought into what they were saying, mainly that anything right-wing was terrible. But you’re right, something happened in recent decades where it’s now the liberals who are the silencers of the opposition in almost all aspects of life. I also have no doubt that if a modern version of the McCarthy hearings were occurring today, it would be spearheaded by liberals.

I’m of the belief that anyone should be able to say anything they like. After all, words are just abstract concepts that only hurt you in context – Would you be offended if someone cursed you out in a foreign language you didn’t understand, even if they were saying the most horrible, rude things they knew? I doubt it. I don’t agree with the Klan or Neo-Nazi groups, but I feel they should be able to say what they want. If we silence them, then it lays the precedent that anyone can be shut up if there’s enough people opposing them. And who knows, there might be a sea change in the not-too-distant future where being liberal is deemed “uncool” and suddenly they’re being silenced. Long story short, I believe that if one group can have something, everyone should be able to have that same thing.

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crypter27 January 29, 2014 at 12:48

I’m reminded of an old saying,the easiest way to bring down a dictatorship is to have them behave live dictators!

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dire badger January 29, 2014 at 23:42

offensive speech is the only kind of speech that needs protecting.

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Szebran January 31, 2014 at 09:31

Liberalism is left wing totalitarianism (See the Soviet Union for further details.)

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Anonymous February 6, 2014 at 06:43

Leftists are just Nazis with better public relations…

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