Freedom seems to be becoming an article of faith as facts, evidence and history start to mean little or nothing to many in our societies, from the common man to the cloistered elitist. Although not explicitly stated, what Australia recently passed are blasphemy laws, this time with the current people you are not allowed to criticize, a là Voltaire, being those of the Muslim faith.
It is so tremendously difficult today to plainly state what used to be obvious:
- As a free person, with the ability of self-expression, I can:
- Criticize, hate or otherwise impugn any text, comment or opinion, religious or otherwise, that I please, and this is not bigotry and this is never within the province of the law;
- Cause offence to as many people as possible without caring about their feelings and this is not bigotry and this is never within the province if the law;
- Choose to be a bigot, or express myself in a bigoted manner, and although this is not a noble condition, it is a sometime human condition, and personal choice, that is never within the province of the law;
With the above, if no real crime has been committed (murder, rape, theft, libel, slander) then no pretend crime can be invented or augmented (thoughtcrime, hate crime), and the legal system is never invoked.
So as we sit here in North America awaiting the almost inevitable erosion of individual liberty (The Lesser Of Two Pathetic Evils™ in the US & Professor Sock-Puppet™ in Canada), we see through Australia’s augmented blasphemy laws [see here], England’s world-famous thoughtcrime laws and Germany’s Nazi-like censorship laws, no real crime need ever be committed for a selected individual to receive the punishment of the state.
Words typed to a social media site, words verbally stated to another person, cartoons drawn expressing your hatred of an idea, concept or opinion – these are now ‘crimes‘ worthy of a custodial sentence in many parts of the once-free Anglosphere.
What happens when a once-free people are not allowed to type words to a social media site, verbally state words to another person or draw cartoons? What happens when a once-free person’s self-expression is criminalized? What happens when all avenues to address the grievances of a once-free people are prohibited by the state? Well, when no other options are available we all know what can happen.
And after all this the ‘Big Why’ remains: why would nation states do this to its own once-free people knowing that their only remaining avenue to express criticism of the state, its policies and their effects is through civil unrest or war? Why indeed.