After flat out stating that you don’t have a right to free speech it may seem odd to see a post arguing for free speech. This is because yesterday’s post touched on organizations censoring speech within their own property. Today’s post touches on legal censorship. Slate, not surprisingly, has an article that claims the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is such a tremendous threat that the First Amendment must finally be eliminated:
But there is something we can do to protect people like Amin from being infected by the ISIS virus by propagandists, many of whom are anonymous and most of whom live in foreign countries. Consider a law that makes it a crime to access websites that glorify, express support for, or provide encouragement for ISIS or support recruitment by ISIS; to distribute links to those websites or videos, images, or text taken from those websites; or to encourage people to access such websites by supplying them with links or instructions. Such a law would be directed at people like Amin: naïve people, rather than sophisticated terrorists, who are initially driven by curiosity to research ISIS on the Web.
The law would provide graduated penalties. After the first violation, a person would receive a warning letter from the government; subsequent violations would result in fines or prison sentences. The idea would be to get out the word that looking at ISIS-related websites, like looking at websites that display child pornography, is strictly forbidden. As word spread, people like Amin would be discouraged from searching for ISIS-related websites and perhaps be spared radicalization and draconian punishment for more serious terrorism-related crimes.
Fuck you, Eric Posner, and the horse you rode in on. This is another example of Petty Tyrant Syndrome. Eric has seen something he doesn’t like, ISIS, and has decided the most expedient way to deal with it is to punish everybody. Since ISIS is using the Internet to spread its message Eric believes every user of the Internet must have a gun put to their heads so their brains can be immediately blown out if they post something that isn’t to his liking. And make no mistake, even though he tries to conceal the ultimate outcome of his proposed law by using euphemisms like “graduated penalties” this law, like all laws, would ultimately result in death by law enforcer. That’s because laws don’t recognize proportional responses.
If you break a minor law, are issued a citation, and fail to pay the State doesn’t throw up its hands in frustration and say, “Fuck it. It’s not worth the trouble to make you pay.” It issues an order to men with guns to hunt you down and kidnap you if you comply or murder you if you don’t.
Yesterday I mentioned that your right to free speech ceases to exist the second you enter somebody else’s property. But Eric isn’t proposing to censor people only on his own property. He’s proposing to censor people on everybody’s property. Under the lens of libertarianism he’s proposing to violate the shit out of everybody’s property rights. Therein lies the difference between censorship based on property rights and censorship based on legal decree. And that is why Eric Posner is a fucking cunt.