A couple of days ago, I posted the following comment at Paul VanderKlay’s site:
PVK: “You know things are getting tyrannical when there’s a law against patience. DON’T THINK, JUST OBEY! Oh, OK, I see some tyranny coming down the road here.”
Paul, if that’s the criteria (and I think it is appropriate), we are already there.
To think, we must talk. If we cannot talk, we cannot think. There are many things worth discussing that have been made illegal to discuss. And this is just in the legal / state realm; with the relationship of big business and big tech with the state, there may not be prison involved, but one can be equally shut out of society for saying the wrong thing.
Hence, we cannot think because we cannot talk. All that is left is to obey.
Then today I came across this essay by Stella Morabito, entitled How Ending Freedom Of Expression Gives Up Your Right To A Private Life. Morabito offers much more depth to the brief comment I offered, and it is worth touching on. For example:
We rarely discuss the deeper purpose of the First Amendment, which is to preserve our right to build families, our right to make friends without state interference, and even the right to think our own thoughts.
To think, we must talk.
In short, the First Amendment serves as a shield against social isolation. You are being socially isolated whenever the mass state or Big Tech regulates your speech so that you can’t express an opinion without fear of losing your livelihood.
If we cannot talk, we cannot think.
Thus, cut off from open conversation, your ability even to think — to generate new ideas, consider new ideas from others, improve those ideas by communicating — evaporates.
We cannot think because we cannot talk.
Political philosopher Hannah Arendt noted that all totalitarian systems depend upon cultivating social isolation in people. Isolation renders people powerless. So it’s no wonder that freedom of expression is always first on the chopping block during and after authoritarian takeovers.
As VanderKlay said: “You know things are getting tyrannical when there’s a law against patience. DON’T THINK, JUST OBEY! Oh, OK, I see some tyranny coming down the road here.”
From G.K. Chesterton (and taken from Morabito’s essay): “There is a thought that stops thought. That is the only thought that ought to be stopped.”