May 04, 2006

Silence assents.

Yet if one speaks only to those who self-select themselves as already open to the speaking, one is preaching to the choir (and thus further speech is pointless).

If one takes advantage of the other person's sense of decorum or tradition or civility that keeps that other person from striking back or, worse, rising in a huff and leaving, one is being rude (and thus further speech is socially inappropriate).

If, through an annoying irony, one draws upon a right to free assembly to force one's message on others, through boycott or through demonstration: rudeness has crossed the border into sedition (and thus further speech is treason).

Apparently there are a few things I don't understand: for, in a country that claims to value free speech, the sum of all these things is that I should not speak up, in any meaningful context, unless I agree with you.

Comments:
I sometimes feel like you exaggerate the issue mostly because I'm not sure how much effort you allot to being tactful.
 
Hmm. Why do I feel as though you have not read the links -- or, if you have, that you don't see their relevance? For, as it happens, I was not talking about myself, this post.
 
You've lost me. Are you criticizing people for criticizing other people's speech as outside the boundaries of good taste? Are you arguing that laziness, rudeness or sedition may not be named such? How is this advocating "free speech"?

Forgive if I've misinterpreted.
 
And now I am curious: at what point does exercise of freedom of speech translate into sedition? For as I recall, Andrew, you were recently lambasting McCain precisely for prioritising clean government over First Amendment rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

... yet, in implying that something spoken might be seditious (sight unseen, sight unspecified, but the right to name it so stranglehold'ed nevertheless) ... are you not doing precisely the same thing?

Whatever you wish to call a thing, speech is free, yes? If you wish to say a thing is against social mores, who am I to say definitively one way or another? You have at least as much claim to identify what does and does not fall under acceptable social mores as I -- more, insofar as those mores are to be specific to the United States.

But if you claim a parallel freedom to label it something which is against the law: consistency, at the very least, might be advisable.
 
Post a Comment



<< Home