Geert Wilders is on trial, for nothing more than speaking the truth. It’s a good opportunity to look over the subject of freedom in general.
(There is a video at Gates of Vienna of Wilder’s Berlin speech I have tried to include, but something is wrong at WordPress. Maybe later.)
Update- here’s the URL. YouTube videos go into WordPress very easily, not quite sure how to do it with Vimeo-
What truths are denied us, what lies must we acknowledge or submit to every day?
In the US, theoretically none. We have “freedom of speech” which means the government can’t charge us with a crime for what we say, and can’t meaningfully restrict it in a formal, legal sense.
The members of the US Supreme Court are the high priests of the religion of “constitutional law”, residing at the top of a hierarchy that starts with the common attorney, continues with various kinds of lower level judges, then to left-wind law professors who provide the intellectual backing for the system, and then the higher federal and appeals courts. These priests now consider the right of the Westboro Baptist Church- composed almost exclusively of the members of the extended Phelps family- to protest at military funerals. It’s been noted the Phelps family is probably mainly interested in provoking confrontation that will lead to fights and lucrative lawsuits- it includes a number of attorneys, including one arguing the case- but sheer maliciousness is certainly a big factor.
The reflexive response of the priesthood would be to dismiss the matter out of hand, as simply not a matter for government or civil court restraint. Still, the egregious nature of the protests and the need for the system to maintain some credibility with the military class makes it a matter to be considered, in whatever a qualified or agonizing manner.
The situation of Terry Jones has been discussed before, and clearly there is no agonizing or qualifying here. The man can’t be arrested but everything short of incarceration that can be done- vilification and financial ruin, in short- will be done. No word on the $180,000 bill from the Gainesville “Police” Department, even though that is obviously illegal by the case law.
In Europe and Canada at least the matter is clear- your freedom is contingent on what you say. And whether he is found guilty or what penalties he faces, merely the fact that they can put Wilders on trial serves as an example to the potentially defiant.
What can’t you say in the US without suffering the informal penalties?
-Well obviously nothing bad about blacks. There are people who do and make a living but only by selling their writings to people who can’t openly admit they read them. Being a “racist” will probably cause you to lose your job, and certainly any chance of promotion. The guys on the loading dock can use the “n” word when the supervisor isn’t around, but that’s the limits of acknowledging racial conflict in the US.
-You can say bad things about Israel, and about Jews in the context their support for Israel, but otherwise nothing bad about Jews, collectively or even much as individuals.
-Women are off limits. There are plenty of things women shouldn’t do, but don’t come out and say that. Perfectly obvious scientific facts are taboo, as Larry Summers learned.
-Gays, forget about it. It has been redefined that if you’re against gay marriage, you want to kill homosexuals. The imposition of gay marriage is an interesting example of judicial rule. In the “don’t ask don’t tell” case the paper reported that the judge was working with the plaintiffs on the wording of the ruling. The lack of judicial neutrality is not surprising, but the fact that they can talk about it openly is a little perturbing. Something similar must have happened with the Massachussetts Supreme Court.
It occurred to me today that unofficial thought is hard work. If you want official thought, it comes to you packaged with the culture, while you’re listening to pop music, watching TV or the movies. Mainstream conservative culture is readily available but not cool and you have to tear yourself away from other things in your free time to get it. If you take the red pill and really want to see what’s going on, that’s a big investment of time, effort, and mental anguish.
Don’t congratulate yourself on living in a free country, where people who believe in freedom can protest, get involved and make a difference. They can’t. I don’t know what I can recommend beyond hunkering down, but you must hunker down. The government is not your friend. Business is not your friend. The media is not your friend. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. Be ready for the worst. To the extent you can get off the grid, do so. If you have opportunities for business or employment in another country, work on them, if only as a backup.