Chris, I think you may be cherry picking your argument. Yes, a lot of tyrannies implement censorship on the grounds that they’re “cleaning up the airwaves” or something similar. No, tyranny doesn’t result every time that happens, and no, that has never been the inciting event for tyranny as far as I am aware. Tyrants usually just seize power or get voted into it, and then implement censorship afterwards as part of their propaganda push.

And as for the argument that we should trust policy to “good, compassionate people,” I do not make that argument and will never make that argument, because I agree with you that people are not, by and large, good or compassionate. Which is why I very specifically set definitions for intolerant behavior in the article.

As for your argument about slippery slopes to tyranny, look, one of those slippery slopes is intolerance. And that’s one of the things this article is about. Yes, putting too many limits on people is bad. But yes, putting no limits on people is bad too. We have to walk a middle line. So yes, I agree that freedom of speech is important (as I think I also mentioned in the article). And I agree that there are tripwire conditions in society that we shouldn’t allow government to legislate.

But Chris, that wasn’t my focus. My main point in the article is that this concept of “political correctness” has become toxic to this whole debate. I say “tolerance,” and you hear “political correctness, i.e. government legislation of speech.” I’m not, and didn’t, make the argument that government should necessarily legislate tolerance. I did make the argument that we as citizens should be tolerant.

That’s a big difference, because I agree with you that weren’t not going to get out of this problem by legislating it away. It has to be a personal decision made by millions of people, sufficient to impact our overall culture. And we have to keep having that internal conversation to remind ourselves why this is important.

Written by

Searching for truth in a world focused on belief.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store