ANY EXERCISE in freedom, which is destructive to freedom, should itself be illegal in the interest of maximum freedom. G. K. Chesterton said, “There is a thought that stops thought. That is the only thought that ought to be stopped.”
In this episode, I go into detail examining a few public theories on free speech, hate speech, discrimination & other freedoms & rights. I also preview an international guest at the 7th annual Australian Church And State Summit in March.
There will be limits to freedom one way or another. Either handfuls of people will be permitted to terrorise, threaten, intimidate, riot, block traffic and vandalise public or private property in the name of “free political discourse”; or those same few will be asked to organise private speaking events, sensible protests and avail themselves of the plethora of ways the rest of us engage in the public square.
The former – bullying – has significant and dramatic impacts on the freedoms of thousands of times more people than those choosing radical ways to express themselves. If they feel their cause is so imperative that a large cost should be paid so their message can be heard, it’s all very well to impose that cost on everybody else, but will they will as determined when the significant price is theirs and cannot be shared?
The latter – peaceable protest – has a liberating effect on public debate or political discourse, because no one is told to stay home or move on because they are the more reasonable people, the less inclined to resort to violence and intimidation of people they disagree with or assault police.
Police don’t enforce justice, they simply do what’s easiest. When a lone Jew with an Israeli flag counter-protested an angry mob of pro-Hamas thugs in Sydney a few weeks ago, police didn’t protect him or defend his rights to freedom of political communication. They arrested him “for his own protection” and told all Jews in the city to stay home, to not go out in public.
Freedom abused is destructive to everyone else freedom. There will be a limit to freedom one way or another, and on a simply quantitative, not even moral level, limiting the abuses of freedom will create a context for the most freedom possible. There can be no such thing as absolute freedom, except on an island by yourself.
Enjoy the show, and please add your comments below.
- DON’T MISS the “Israel & Anti-Semitism” conference presented by Church And State at the Queensland Holocaust Museum this Sunday afternoon, 2pm (AEST) 26 November. Learn the history, the prophecy and the politics of why Israel must exist and how to help resist anti-Semitism. Click here for more details or to register now.
Dave Pellowe is a Christian writer & commentator, founder of The Good Sauce, convener of the annual Australian Church And State Summit and host of Good Sauce's weekly The Church And State Show, also syndicated on ADH TV. Since 2016 Dave has undertaken the mission of arming Christians to influence culture through events from Perth to Auckland, videos, podcasts and articles published in multiple journals across Australia and New Zealand. [more]
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