...the realization that the old-school liberalism that I grew up with is just false in many respects, and one of those its its model of free speech. The liberal idea is that speech and discourse is highly separable from action and power, so you can let all manner of ideas be debated in the speech-sphere and hopefully the good ones will win out due to rationality and make it into the sphere of action.
But this is entirely wrong, and its particularly wrong for political speech, which is always aimed at producing some kind of power shift in the real world. Political speech is not about ideas, its about the political strength of people and coalitions. Everybody kind of knows this, too, except a few naive intellectuals.
And it's particularly wrong when it comes to fascism, which attacks the liberal and rational basis of society. Fascism doesn't operate on ideas; and the Trumpian form of fascism is explcitly designed to allow people to express their feelings without regard to any ground truths, which are dismissed as "fake news".
Liberalism doesn't really know how to defend itself against these toxic ideas, given its metaphysics. I view all the cancellation brou-ha-ha as kind of a weak immune response of liberal civilization against an invasive and potentially fatal disease. It's maybe not the best defense, but its better than nothing, And like a biological immune response, it can go too far and cause more damage than it prevents.
Also I would think that all the weirdness at the margins of the Trump movement (Kek, meme magic, the Qanon cult, and the connections with Yarvin and Nick Land) would be topics of great interest here. Maybe it's too unpleasant to think about how weird shit is being weaponized by malignant forces, but probably not good idea to ignore it either.
Deplatforming is the social analog of Freudian repression. And while both of those might be necessary for civilization, they are imperfect, and the repressed will always try to find ways to reassert itself.
Deplatforming is the social analog of Freudian repression. And while both of these processes are necessary for civilization, they are imperfect, and the repressed will always try to find ways to reassert itself.
The specifics of deplatforming controversies don't interest me that much – should view x be allowed to be presented at venue y? The arguments are always the same, and because absolute freedom of speech is almost never relevant (sure Nazis have freedom of speech, but they don't have a right to give a seminar at Yale, and its the question of who gets those priveleged speaking spots that is at issue).
Instead I try to take a sort of abstract view – what is the nature of this process? It is an ongoing social political process of determining what kind of viewpoints are acceptable and which are not. This changes over time and place – anti-semitism, for example, used to be common and respectible, has changed to be unacceptable since WWII, but is now becoming accepted on the margins thanks to the rise of Trump and the alt-right.
There's nothing wrong with this, although I think some of the more nerdy types can't handle this kind of social construction of morality and rebel against it. Everybody else just has to roll with it.