Thursday, January 8, 2015

... towards the necessary powers; oh, that speech

Not much time to write today, which may prove to be a disservice to my subject, but alas....

had we had world enough, and time...

The killing of several people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the "silent strike" of the NYPD share a corollary. I would like to take this opportunity, in an exercise of non-silence, to at least pretend to explore that analogue.

It is the least speech that I can do.

I only wish that I had the adequate personal resources to do so more fully, because.

Here we go:

I do not wish to belabor the obvious point that each collective act is an attempt to "correct" the actions of others. 

Each is a direct frontal attack on free speech, while also being tangential racism.

The murderers that walked into the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the police who are attempting to censure not just the mayor, but the entire city of New York, have their roots in the same censorious impulse: It is to demand respect and compliance both for (and to) an externally imposed ideology.

By comparing their impulses I am not equating them. I am only hoping to reflect that the impulses in each are similar, and have their roots in fear, ignorance, superstition, faith, or law; as well as the abiding concepts of justice.

(Not sure if I'll get to all of those).

To equate them would be categorical thinking, etc.

I'm not saying, for example, that the NYPD would knowingly and willfully kill innocent people. 

I'll let others say that.

I am not saying that an attempt to silence the free use of the mind, whether expressed through satirical expression or political assembly, is necessarily the same.

The silent resistance of an entire city's police force as a reaction to the mayor's position on the misuse of the concepts of "law and order" can not conceivably be seen as intolerance, nor the advocacy of violence. 

What I am definitely not saying is that the people who were killed in either of these horrible tellings of struggle were anything less than victims of ideological warfare, whether it be "for" or "against" free speech, in anybody's mind.

I am only saying that any attack on free thought and its open expression in speech or assembly should be acknowledged precisely for what it is: an abject attempt to assert one version of order over another.

Ideology must be understood for what it is, particularly when it manifests itself in murder or compliance from group fear.

Anybody that confuses who is the offended party here has missed not only the point but also the scale and scope of the crime.

Americans have been shelf-shocked with concepts of freedom for so long that they have forgotten how to use them, freedoms, so they likewise misunderstand how to defend them, which is only the task to use them well.

Each aggrieved party - the angry young Muslim men who screamed Allahu Akbar! on the one side, or the police who screamed nothing at all, but instead have sat silently with their backs turned not just to the mayor but also to the oath to uphold the law that they should also subject to - have painted themselves as the victims of somebody else, or something else. But they are the "offended" in this struggle.

Some "other" that has full and complete say in their sacred affairs.

NOBODY has the right to not be offended.

If the NYPD does not wish to be subject to a chain of command, then they should just say so.

If a small group of Muslim killers wishes to not have their prophet portrayed or mocked, then they have said so.

One group has spoken.

Only free minds need respond to that, though others will also.

For the other, only the mayor of that city needs to respond there.

Let's hope that his liberalism does not crumble in the face of need.

I was going to write, "... government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

But, for a quick laugh:

Do a Google search for: Images of Mohammed

Trust me.

You will see how much serious work there is that is still to be feared.