I believe that censorship is the only acceptable course of action for certain instances. There are those who directly use social media as a form of abuse, such as those who share the home of an individual and effectively dox them. That said, in my essay, I will strive to elaborate on how the concepts of censorship and cancel culture are distorted to fit political agendas. The increasingly frequent misapplication of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is a prime example of the way in which we discuss censorship without acknowledging that there is no law that prevents a private corporation from abiding by its own set of decency guidelines. In fact, Section 230 specifically establishes the allowance of such guidelines. But, despite this allowance, it’s also crucial that we take care in how we censor, as the deliberate banning of certain voices can only cause such personas to thrive in more toxic ecosystems in which we don’t have transparency.
Freedoms of speech and press are the unalienable factors of what constitutes a free society. They are what separate the U.S. and other free democracies from the authoritarian leadership principles held by Nazi Germany, Communist China, the U.S.S.R., and the Socialist dictatorships currently in power throughout South America. It’s what gives U.S. citizens the right to criticize our government’s actions, no matter who’s in power, without fear of repercussion or even death. I find it unequivocally revolting that there are those on the far Left in America today, including many Left-leaning poets and writers, who push for these freedoms to be stripped away from our population. Especially after the Liberal poets of the 1950s and 60s put their freedom on the line to fight for freedom of expression against the Conservative consensus culture of Cold War-era America. The idea of supporting censorship in any fashion, I believe, is a slap in the face to great poets like Allen Ginsberg and our recently lost Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who fought for these freedoms for all writers to enjoy. When the only plausible recourse against those who wish to take our freedoms from us is our voices, my words are my weapons in this war, and I refuse to be disarmed.
Are humans biologically wired for ideologies? How do ideologies create ideologues? Is common ground possible? As a leading scholar of ideologies, Peter Boghossian’s work directly relates to the theme for our Issue No. 2: Ideologies, Belief Systems, & The Human Condition. In today’s conversation, we ask Peter about his views on various ideological stances and what we can do to overcome roadblocks in communication.