Thursday, 20 September 2012

Free speech & Voltaire's principle

  What real world commitment does an affirmation of the Principle of Free Speech involve us in? Is one obliged, as Voltaire put it, to defend to the death another's right to say things disagreeable to us?
  If you subscribe to this view, then could you please protect me from the U.S Secret Service which is actively preventing me from dropping by the Oval office to tell POTUS to just put on some fucking weight already, wear glasses, get some egg stains on your tie- you're making the rest of us middle aged, Kenyan origin, people look bad. Fuck is wrong with you? At least get drunk occasionally. Yes, yes, I know Michelle Obama packs a mean punch. But take one for the team dude.

  Perhaps, if Voltaire came back to life today, he would amend his famous declaration to read- 'I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to your death, my right to think you a cunt.'
  The only countervailing power against the shibboleth of Free Speech is this unspoken Social Compact whereby all pi-jaw posturing is viewed as cunt-queefery.

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