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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Intellectual freedom: When “silent no more” morphed swiftly into “silent, no kidding!”

On recent legacy media demands for more government control of new media, on the undemonstrated (and undemonstrable) ground that new media spurred the Tucson assassin, Ottawa Citizen columnist David Warren writes,
We stand against the politics of the guillotine, or The Politics of Procrustes, as the British analytic philosopher Antony Flew explained, in a wonderfully clear book (1981). His title referred to the Greek myth of Procrustes, who assigned himself the task of making all who came his way “equal” -- either by stretching them on his metal bed, or by chopping down their limbs.

And words, too, have come to be tortured, so that in current radical parlance, “diversity” means everyone must have the same opinions, or be subject to stretching or chopping by the machinery of the “human rights” industry.

And, “paranoia” means, unwillingness to be so stretched, or chopped.

- “Unwilling to be chopped”, January 16, 2011
It amounts to making government our zookeeper. He adds,

While Hofstadter was not the ultimate source of this “meme” -- which goes back in some respects to the apes of Darwin -- he was there at the birth of a “New Left” in the 'sixties, a strange new slurry of Marxist, Freudian, feminist, and hippiesque notions which by increments seized the American liberal mind. And so completely that today, the attitudes of the Kennedy generation of American liberals seem indistinguishable from those of the Tea Party.
Yes. What many younger people mayn’t realize is that liberalism back then did not mean freedom only for the zookeeper, and enclosures for everyone else.

Let freedom zing.

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