conditional freedom of speech

In the lead up to and following the clashes around Reclaim Australia, a lot of people have been discussing and debating on the internet and in real life about the morality of blocking far-right demonstrations. And the people who (often with perfectly good liberal intentions) defend the right of the right to march, will often say to people like me (who support a No Platform policy):

“So its alright to protest unimpeded, but only if its for a cause that you support?”

And that’s quite a hard accusation to deal with. Essentially one is being accused of defying liberal principles (that rights should apply equally regardless of what political position you have) and being hypocritical, because I support blocking their rallies, but would be pissed if they did the same to us.

And so I have come to the conclusion, after really thinking it through, that in all reality, my response to the above question is yes. I think that the political left and the diverse causes that it is connected to should have control of the streets, and that the streets should be denied to the right wing. I think our rallies should go unimpeded, and we should impede their demonstrations.

Because liberalism is a sham, its a political charade. Politics can’t be reduced to vague principles which are supposed to apply to all conditions and social layers equally. The idea that the right to freedom of speech somehow applies to everyone equally, in a society where power and wealth are systematically concentrated and privilege certain groups and ideologies, is totally ridiculous.

And I am happy to wear that. Social justice is about power. Its about empowering people at the bottom of the social ladder to stand up for themselves. Conversely, it is also about disempowering those at the top. This means having double standards. Huge double standards. And there is nothing wrong with that. This idea that we should neutrally judge all situations equally regardless of political character and content is silly.

No, I obviously do not think that the left has no flaws, or that I personally am always correct about things. I change my mind all the times and my politics have changed a lot. But I am sure the left is right, so to speak. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. And I think sometimes people are scared of declaring that they are correct.

So in summary. Yes. I think that the left should be able to parade around espousing our ideas in large numbers and would resent any attempt to stop us, and if the right tries to do the same, I will try to stop them. Because politics isn’t about trying to fit reality to abstract principles. It is about a struggle for justice.