Free Speech: an apology (I got it all wrong)

February 20, 2015 at 7:55 pm (Free Speech, Guest post, left, post modernism, relativism)

By Dave Osland

Above: Rosa Luxemburg, free speech advocate

Free speech: an apology:

Throughout my 30 years of political activity, I consistently contended that free speech was a core leftist value.

Readily did I bandy about Rosa Luxemburg’s insistence that ‘freedom is, always and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently’. Shockingly, sometimes I even trotted out that cliched crap from Voltaire!

Willfully and deliberately, with malice aforethought, did I listen to a range of opinions on all topics and tried to think logically about issues of contemporary political disputation.

I was, shamefully and utterly, wrong wrong wrong. I now realise that insistence on free speech at all costs is the preserve of liberals and – worse! – the right.

I have learned my lesson and pledge never again to say anything beastly or that anybody could claim to be offended by, even potentially.

There is only one correct position on any issue within feminism or the LGBT movement, as may be determined by Twitter from time to time. It simply falls to me to discover what the line is on any given day.

Likewise, I renounce all my earlier statements to the effect that religious fundamentalism is a threat to workers, women or LGBT people who misunderstand why they are being thrown off tall buildings by anti-imperialists.

9/11 conspiracy theories are unquestionably true, and the ruling class reptilian blood line thesis is at least worthy of serious consideration.

I am junking 90% of the DWEM books that have falsely persuaded me to hang on to outdated metanarratives and will retain only those volumes of Derrida and Foucault that are admissible in public discourse.

All that remains now is to prostrate myself at the feet of those who arbitrate on such matters and beg forgiveness.

Identity politicians of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your brains!


  1. Mike Killingworth said,

    It is, after all, the Year of the Sheep.

    • Robert said,

      How can folk “have nothing to lose but their brains”
      who have no brains to lose?

  2. Rilke said,

    OK, you ironise about a political condition and disposition that deserves to be denounced as infantile, but you do yourself no favours by pretending to have the critical upperhand on Derrida. Most of the mis-reading epigonies are idiots, but Of Grammatology and Writing and Difference are strong books. Give me a passage from these works that you think supports identity politics and I will show you how wrong you are.

  3. Jim Denham said,

  4. Andrew Coates said,

    Odds in the Dave O Award for Batshit Craziness in the Left press,

    “In the running from the Weekly Worker’s letters page.

    John Smithee (Fenland Socialist Independence – outsider 59/1)

    John Tummon (Left Unity/Islamic Caliphate 5/1).


    Gerry Downing, ” Salvage some measure of self-respect even now after the disgrace of supporting imperialism in Libya, Syria and the EuroMaidan.” (Socialist Fight) 2/1),

    Ian Donovan, (Communist Explorations/Anglo-Jewish friendship society) 2/1. “Fake-”left” line-up once more with imperialism to “condemn terror” over the Paris attacks, proving even further their craven capitulation to the warmongering demonisation being used to whip up World War Three. Attacking the Islamists as “reactionary” is opportunist sophistry, as is writing them off as “isolated individual terrorists” . (2/1)

    Tony Clark (Green Lizards’ Liberation Front 11/8).”

    • Jim Denham said,

      I feel that something from the Morning Star should be in there: perhaps their coverage of the “anti fascist” (sic) pro-Putin forces in Ukraine, or their anti-Syriza third period ultra-sectarianism in Greece, or Ramzy Baroud’s crazed Islamism and conspiracy-theorising. The supposed “Daily Paper of The Left” (funded, largely by my union, Unite) really needs to be called to order.

      • Andrew Coates said,

        Join the debate on Facebook.

        There’s a lot of people really fed up with this pro-Donbass People’s Republic stuff.

  5. damon said,

    But where did this trend start? If you instinctively backed campaigns like ”Kick racism out of football” you end up where we are now, with the police doing man-hunts for three men suspected of singing a racist song at a train station in London several days ago.
    And the British Prime Minister commenting on some similar incident the day before in Paris.

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