Truth Is the New Hate Speech

May 6th, 2010

By Brianna Aubin

In a speech at a pro-Israel rally in New York on April 25, AtlasShrugs blogger Pamela Geller declared that “Truth is the new hate speech.”

I do not always agree with Geller, but in this case she is absolutely right: truth has indeed become the new hate speech.  The idea is that in the name of tolerance and diversity, we have been stifled and discouraged against speaking any facts that may cast an idea or belief in a negative light — even if the things we are saying are indeed the truth.

Why this has indeed become the case is expertly explained in a speech given by Evan Sayet at the Heritage Foundation in 2007.  A “9/13 Republican,” he explains that his transformation was a result of the aftermath of 9/11, when he tried to get his liberal friends to come with him and help America — only to find out that according to them, America probably deserved it.  He then engaged in a years-long quest to understand how anyone could reasonably think this, and eventually, after much effort, he came to a conclusion.

At first he wondered whether they were all evil, except many of his friends and relatives fell into the category he would then have to condemn as evil, and he couldn’t believe it.  Then he wondered whether they were just stupid, only he knew that there were too many smart people who felt this way.  But if they weren’t stupid, and they weren’t evil, then how could they possibly think that their actions were somehow creating a better world?

Well, in a nutshell, the idea he eventually came up with is that modern Liberals took a good, long look at the world around them and the history of man and came to only one conclusion:

None of the ideas that mankind had come up with, none of the religions, philosophies, ideologies or forms of government… have succeeded in creating a world free of war, poverty, crime and injustice.  So they’re convinced that, since all of these ideas of man have proved to be wrong, the real cause of war, poverty, crime and injustice must be found, can only be found, in the attempt to be right.  After all, if nobody ever thought they were right, what would we disagree about?  If we didn’t disagree, surely we wouldn’t fight?  If we didn’t fight, there wouldn’t be any war.  Without war, there’d be no poverty; without poverty, there’d be no crime; without crime, there’d be no injustice.  It’s a utopian vision.  And all that’s required to usher in this utopia… is the rejection of all fact, reason, evidence, logic, truth, morality and decency.

The irony, however, is that this supposed philosophy of “liberalism” is in truth about as illiberal as it is possible for a philosophy to be.  Why?  Because when you submit to a philosophy whose only absolute truth is that there is no such thing as absolute truth and where the only way to be right is to absolutely shut down any attempt to be right, what you have essentially done is advanced a philosophy that is deliberately designed to shut off all attempts at rational thought.  Because the essence of rational thought is discrimination, the act of rationally choosing between two or more alternative ideas — and discrimination is the one thing that the modern Liberal mindset absolutely refuses to tolerate.  At first it sounds too monstrous and lunatic to believe, but the more you look at the facts of the case, the more you practice the art of discrimination that is the essence of rational thought, the more you see why Sayet’s speech to the Heritage Foundation promptly went viral as “The Unified Field Theory of Liberalism.”

For example, in a free country, it is generally accepted that with rare exceptions, it is your actions that play the deciding role in your status in life and your level of achievement in society.  But when you look at the world with a policy of non-discrimination, you must de facto believe that all actions lead to the same results, because to do otherwise would discriminate against one action in favor of the other.  Thus when you look at the world around you and see poor people, your first thought is not that it is primarily their actions and choices, or the actions and choices of their parents, that led to their poverty.  It is not to teach them better behaviors, the tenets and actions that will help them to change their station in life.  Rather, it is that somebody must have screwed them, and since the guy over there who has lots of money clearly couldn’t have acquired it honestly through his own actions and choices (since to believe this to be possible would also be discriminatory), he was probably the one who committed the crime.  Thus is born the progressive income tax, modern welfare policies, the trillions that have been wasted in foreign aid to the third world, and Obama’s bizarre belief that taking from some in order to give to others is “good for everybody.”

Or, for example, take foreign policy.  The traditional approach of America has been to regard democracies, societies that provide a high degree of freedom to their members, as good, and dictatorships, countries that repress its citizens, as evil.  England, France and Israel were our allies, countries we viewed as becoming more liberal were extended the hand of friendship, and countries which were unrepentant dictatorships generally earned our enmity.  But in the mindset of the modern Liberal, there is no difference between a democracy and a dictatorship; governmental structure is merely a personal preference, one which we have no right to criticize or interfere with.  Thus the modern Liberal became an apologist for Castro, a glorifier of Che, a defender of the North Vietnamese, silent on the horrors of Cambodia, admirers of Stalin and Mao (at least, before they became too awful to ignore), and they were even quite friendly with Mussolini, Hitler and fascism, at least before WWII and Dachau forced them to distance themselves and pretend that fascism was somehow fundamentally different from every other form of collectivism to ever walk the Earth.

Really, you can see it in just about every position the modern Left takes.  When faced with global Jihad, instead of acknowledging Muslim extremism as a problem, the Left openly hopes that it’ll have been committed by a right-winger, speculates that the bomb threat was made by someone against health care, expresses disappointment when the person caught is yet another Muslim acting in the name of his faith, and then tries to pin his actions on the fact that his home got foreclosed.  When asked to choose between Israel and Palestine, the Left defends the people who name town squares after suicide bombers, calls Israel (which is a 20 percent Arab nation) an apartheid state, and walks off in a snit over the idea that Israel might actually dare to build homes in its own capital city.  When forced to choose between the lives and livelihoods of human beings and the welfare of a two-inch fish in the San Joaquin valley of CA, they choose the fish.  When forced to choose between the proven failure of communism and the proven success of capitalism, they choose communism.  When forced to choose between a pluralistic, tolerant society and Islam, they choose Islam.  When forced to choose between America and her destroyers, they not only choose her destroyers, they choose to become her destroyers, never realizing that the only reason they have been permitted to act as freely as they have is solely because of the incredible rights and freedoms they have in this country, even as they deny those freedoms exist and work to undermine them at every turn.

I recommended Sayet’s speech to a friend, when I was trying (badly) to explain this concept to him and he did not quite understand what I was trying to say.  He went off skeptical, but he watched the movie and afterwards concluded that the premise I was trying to relate to him earlier was not only accurate but made a disturbing amount of sense.  When he asked me how such an idea could possibly have come about as a moral ideal (and indeed, as Charles Sykes points out, the principle of nonjudgmentalism is nearly sacred in our culture), I explained my theory.

Around the turn of the 20th century, the Left started coming up with this idea that we are our brother’s keeper, that man should live for society or the state instead of himself, and that the core elements of a free, capitalist society were incompatible with morality.  Since even Adam Smith and the Founding Fathers never really made terms with the morality of capitalism, this was not a very hard position to take.  Then the Left tried to put its ideas into practice and was subsequently confronted with ruin, devastation, poverty, famine, war, slavery and horror at every turn.  They were able to conceal it from themselves for a while under the idea that the transition was only temporary, you couldn’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and that once they murdered the umpteenth million and first offender against the state, then they’d reach the paradise they were so sure existed on the other side of the tunnel.  But no luck.

So after WWII, when the horrors of Auschwitz were staring them in the face, and especially in the sixties, once they could no longer ignore the fact that even the brand of collectivism they approved of (the USSR) was a horrible, dismal failure, they were confronted with a choice.  The choice was between their morality and reality, between their ideals and the facts of life.  They could either ditch their ideals and live in the real world, or they could cling to their morality at the expense of practical living.  And because human beings are actually fundamentally moral people, they decided to choose their ideals.

But their ideals are fundamentally false.  When put into full and consistent practice, they lead to evil.  Despite what the Marxists chant to each other at high Marxmass, there truly is no way to do communism right.  And again, most people are fundamentally moral people.  Just because these people were Marxists did not mean they actually wanted to cause or witness the horrors and devastation that their ideals brought about when fully enacted.  And too, most people do not enjoy courting either suicide or starvation.  So they were forced to put their ideas into half-practice.  They were forced to become hypocrites.  And above all, they were forced to turn away from choosing what was right, because if they chose what they believed to be truly right, which was the idea that man is fundamentally his brother’s keeper, the eventual outcome of the system would be just as devastating this time around as it was every single other time it went around.

Hannah Arendt, a famous Holocaust chronicler, claimed that the reasons the Nazis committed the acts they did was because they were too logical.  And so they were.  The Nazis fully and logically carried out their doctrines of racial purity to their inevitable and horrific conclusion.  But the only difference between Nazism and communism is that Nazism focuses on race and nation, and communism focuses on class.  The gulags were just as horrifying as the concentration camps; the only difference was in the demographics of the inmates.

When your premise is wrong, logic will lead you to the wrong conclusion.  And if that conclusion is so horrifying that there is absolutely no way you can call it moral, but you have no other premise to put in its place, your only other option is to abandon the logical chain that leads you from your premise to your conclusion.  Hence the apparent insanity observed and brilliantly expounded upon by Evan Sayet.  And hence the horrifying spectacle described by Pamela Geller, of truth becoming the new hate speech.

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5 Responses to “Truth Is the New Hate Speech”

  1. larry |

    Sad but true.
    There is and has been for the many years an effort to replace the America of the Founding Fathers with the America of progressive liberalism. I sometimes get the feeling that the road to true progressive/socialism has failed because of the residual respect for the Constitution by some liberals. The only way to achieve true victory over the America of our Founders is to eventually convince the people that as it stands America is a bad place filled with bad people. A place that only the liberal/progressive/socialist can get on the right path.

  2. Tom |

    Not only is truth the new hate speech, some feel that anything someone says that disagrees with their ideas is hate speech. That’s particularly true in terms of attacks on politicians and those who speak their minds on political issues.

    I don’t think it’s right to say that the camps of the GULAG were as bad as Nazi concentration camps. As bad as they were, the Soviet camps weren’t specifically designed to operationalize genocide, and there weren’t large camps specifically designed to exterminate people with industrial efficiency. I’ll grant, though, that both systems were inherently evil.

    Larry, liberalism and progressivism are slightly different ideas, and neither of them equates to socialism in any mainstream sense. It’s also wrong to say that those who disagree with your particular brand of religious conservatism are trying to replace (or destroy) America. I think the fact that you have so much trouble with is that the United States is a democracy, and your fellow citizens don’t always believe what you believe or want what you want.

  3. Brian Bagent |

    Tom, the only difference between the progressive, the NAZI, and the Soviet communist is one of degree, not of philosophy. The progressive is just as happy to use the coercive power of government to get me to do things to which I am ethically opposed as the NAZI or communist is/was. They are fellow-travelers of the philosophy of “might makes right.” They are the mystics of muscle, and must necessarily be used where the philosophical mystics have failed in convincing me of the righteousness of their cause.

  4. Tom |

    Hmmm. Well, I suppose using that kind of logic I could say that the only difference between the conservative and the fascist is one of degree, not of philosophy. But that would be the same kind of highly strained logic without any useful value, so I won’t say it.

    Let’s remember that conservatives are also willing to use the coercive power of government to force their preferences on people who are politically and ethically opposed to what they want.

    What we could all use right now is more tolerance on both sides, along with some mutual respect. The fact is, mainstream liberals are not socialists or communists, any more than mainstream conservatives are fascists or religious fanatics.

  5. Opinion Forum » The Right To Judge |

    […] all ties back into a previous post I made about truth being the new hate speech.  Because to judge is to discriminate between options, and to discriminate is the essence of […]

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