Sunday, April 15, 2007

Yet Another Attack On Freedom of Speech

The Ayn Rand Institute gave me permission to post their latest press release:

The U.N. Human Rights Council's War on Human Rights

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

IRVINE, Calif.--The U.N. Human Rights Council recently passed a resolution urging nations to pass laws prohibiting the dissemination of ideas that "defame religion." It appears that the resolution was partly a response to last year's Danish cartoon crisis, where hordes of angry Muslims rioted in violent protest of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

"The advocates of this resolution perversely equate those who drew the Danish cartoons with those who rioted and threatened to murder the cartoonists," said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. "Both, they say, are guilty of a crime and should be restrained and punished by the government -- with the unstated caveat that the cartoonists are guiltier, since they allegedly incited the violent mobs by defaming Islam.

"To morally equate the Danish cartoonists with the Muslim rioters is to wipe out the distinction between speech and force. It is to declare there is no essential difference between the filmmaker Theo van Gogh,and the Muslim who murdered him for producing a film that 'defamed Islam.'

"Freedom of speech means that individuals have the right to advocate any idea, without the threat of government censorship, regardless of how many people that idea may offend. To silence individuals in order to protect the sensibilities of mullahs and mobs is to wipe out this crucial right -- and it is to whitewash the blood-stained hands of killers by declaring that they are no worse than those who peacefully criticize them.

"Yet this disgraceful moral equivalence is a symptom of the larger moral equivalence that pervades the U.N. Human Rights Council, which is based on the gross pretense that its members -- including belligerent regimes such as Iran and Syria, and oppressive dictatorships such as China and Cuba -- are champions of peace and individual rights. As a result, its main function is to provide a forum for thugs and dictators to criticize free nations such as the United States and Israel, while pushing their anti-freedom agendas.

"The United States should condemn this resolution -- and the morally corrupt organization that produced it."

Copyright © 2007 Ayn Rand® Institute. All rights reserved.

Evan Sayet recently spoke about how being indiscriminate leads the left to opposing freedom. We can see that on display in the U.N., which is a sort of egalitarianism of nations. When they do not discriminate between free nations such as America and Israel and dictatorships, they end up adopting the standards of unfree nations such as Cuba and Iran.

In light of the recent Imus firing, we now have the U.N. advocating gross violation of freedom of speech. I regard this as another assault from the left on a critical right, free speech.

If rights could be separated and arranged in order of importance, then the freedom of speech would have to be the number one, most important right we have today. Changing the world for the better -- advancing the cause of freedom and individual rights -- depends on changing our culture’s philosophy. It means persuading people with ideas, and this can only be done in a nation with freedom of speech.

Like the religious right, the nihilist left begins by attacking the least defensible speech. The right attacks pornography; the left attacks racism, hate speech, and politically incorrect speech -- speech that I identify as inegalitarian. That is why I defend Imus, even though his speech is wrong. Ideas that “defame religion” are, by the standards of conventional morality and religion, among the least defensible. In olden times such ideas were called “blasphemy” and “heresy.” This move by the U.N. might actually appeal to the right as well as the left -- to Dinesh D’Souza and Jerry Falwell as well as multiculturalist professors. Who knows, this could be the beginning of a bipartisan assault on our freedoms!

1 comment:

EdMcGon said...

Time to start a libertarian colony on Mars. The idiots seem to be running the show down here. ;)

Or as the old t-shirt said, "Beam me up Scotty. There's no intellignet life down here." :P