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We Can Work It Out - Politics & Philosophy
28 March 2020
8.49am
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Beatlebug
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@QuarryMan said
I resent the sentiment that people with anti-capitalist beliefs are just naive or don't know what they're talking about. Quite insulting to the generations of philosophers, activists, unionists, writers, journalists and workers who have devoted their lives to the anti-capitalist cause. Disagree with them on the arguments, by all means, but don't just write them off as childish or silly.

... bruh ahdn_paul_01

Anti-capitalism is anti-freedom. Forgive me if I'm being a libertard*, but why would anyone be anti-freedom unless they were either misguided into thinking it wasn't anti-freedom, or malicious? I have to believe they're naive to retain my faith in humanity. a-hard-days-night-paul-7

I'm sure most of the philosophers, activists, unionists, writers, journalists, and workers who devoted their lives to the anti-capitalist cause meant the very best for themselves and their fellow man, just as you do, and I'm quite happy to keep faith in the general decentness of average humanity, but that doesn't make me respect their position any more. It's not them -- it's their beliefs I find naive and, frankly, repulsive. It goes back to my tea-bag saying above that I disagree with -- the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

I'm fairly open-minded about a lot of things, but there are some things that cross the line for me no matter how I look at it. Fascism and socialism are two of those things. Doesn't mean I hate people who hold those beliefs, but I find it extremely difficult to respect their intellects on those issues specifically. They can be incredibly intelligent and I'll respect them in many other ways, but that issue will never be one of them in my mind. mccartney-shrug_01_gif

I recognize that it doesn't really matter at the end lf the day, since I'm sure someone who's a socialist thinks the same about me as I do of them, so in the end we're all out of touch with reality in various ways and the trick is to figure out whose perspective is closest to reality and/or works the best. Spoiler alert, it's never been the socialists, as far as anyone knows... a-hard-days-night-paul-10

I'm going to regret making this post later, I just know it a-hard-days-night-paul-7paul-mccartney-facepalm_gifa-hard-days-night-ringo-14

*it's like libtard except for libertarians a-hard-days-night-george-10

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28 March 2020
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Monopolies are pro-capitalism but are anti-freedom. Boy howdy do I love the choice between buying at the megamart ten blocks from me or the megamart nine blocks from me.

All those banana republics, very free. Love it.

Fascism is a right leaning movement.

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28 March 2020
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I have a question for @Beatlebug:

Can you name 3 things you like about Trump and 3 things you dislike?

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28 March 2020
11.31am
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@AppleScruffJunior in no particular order

3.5 things I like about Trump/what he's done
1) actions against unfair trade deal with China
2) prison reform
3) border control
3.5) memes & general entertainment

3.5 things I dislike about Trump/what he's done
1) re-signed the Patriot Act
2) under his administration the national debt is STILL increasing
3) the executive order against anti-Semitism on campuses which violates free speech
3.5) he's a boomer who said something dumb about video games

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28 March 2020
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Beatlebug said

Anti-capitalism is anti-freedom.

If this is the axiomatic core of your beliefs, then I can understand why you've arrived at the conclusions you have, but I hope you know that there are a multitude of things wrong with that sentiment, not the least of which being that the topic is obviously far more nuanced than that, something I think you're probably as aware of as I. For example, were the activists and journalists tortured and killed for speaking out against Pinochet's Friedmanite regime in Chile, or the 1800s and 1900s unionists who gave their lives in the struggles against child labour and the fight for such institutions as the freakin' weekend and the eight hour workday really anti-freedom?

However, I think rather than having a huge, sprawling debate over this that sours our enjoyment of the forum and rarely reaches a satisfying conclusion, I have a proposal for a much more constructive (and enjoyable) resolution - we each get to nominate up to three books (though it could be any format really - podcasts, documentaries, whatever) for the other to read/consume that we think would be most likely to make them reconsider their position. For example, I could read Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom or Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia, (both of which I've been meaning to try for a while), and you could read The Shock Doctrine or Manufacturing Consent. Thoughts?

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28 March 2020
1.37pm
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@Beatlebug said
ASJ in no particular order

3.5 things I like about Trump/what he's done
1) actions against unfair trade deal with China
2) prison reform
3) border control
3.5) memes & general entertainment

3.5 things I dislike about Trump/what he's done
1) re-signed the Patriot Act
2) under his administration the national debt is STILL increasing
3) the executive order against anti-Semitism on campuses which violates free speech
3.5) he's a boomer who said something dumb about video games

I'm sorry but I am shocked and stunned, also very disappointed, that you think the type of speech that led to the murder of 6 million Jews in Europe. It is a shame you think hate speech and free speech are the same thing.

I could easily swap that with anything on your "like" list (apart from 3.5) and not have any problem.

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28 March 2020
5.01pm
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Starr Shine? said
Monopolies are pro-capitalism but are anti-freedom. Boy howdy do I love the choice between buying at the megamart ten blocks from me or the megamart nine blocks from me.

All those banana republics, very free. Love it.

Funnily enough, I just finished an essay outline partly arguing that the federal government needs to take more action to regulate modern-day monopolies, in which I talked about how monopolies are clogging up the free-market by stifling competition and overall causing problems for Americans and the economy. Capitalism is a good thing, however when it's abused by wealth- and power-hungry corporations, there's a loss of freedom for the general American. Big businesses are cheating Americans out of money, especially the healthcare industry. Because of these points and much more, I can't fully agree with the blanket statement that @Beatlebug made that "anti-capitalism is anti-freedom." However, I don't entirely disagree..... a-hard-days-night-paul-7

Basically, my opinion is that the government shouldn't 100% be in charge of the market; however, big businesses shouldn't be able to take over the market. And the only way to stop them from doing that is through federal government intervention, because who else can keep these businesses in check? Their competition can't: they either don't exist or have been bought out/run out of town. Consumers have no control over anything: the only thing we can do as consumers and citizens is to petition the government for stricter regulation. We have legislation that aims to prevent the formation of monopolies, but they're not working because there are still big businesses acting as monopolies and trusts (Big Tech, Big Tobacco, the healthcare debacle, etc.). I'm all for a free market, but it's not really that "free" if one or two businesses are the ones active within it.

I have no idea if what I'm saying fits into the argument that was previously occurring but I just sort of went off on a tangent and I'm just gonna post it and see what happens, I guess mccartney-shrug_01_gif

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28 March 2020
5.24pm
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Ron Nasty said

@Beatlebug said

ASJ in no particular order

3.5 things I like about Trump/what he's done

1) actions against unfair trade deal with China

2) prison reform

3) border control

3.5) memes & general entertainment

3.5 things I dislike about Trump/what he's done

1) re-signed the Patriot Act

2) under his administration the national debt is STILL increasing

3) the executive order against anti-Semitism on campuses which violates free speech

3.5) he's a boomer who said something dumb about video games

I'm sorry but I am shocked and stunned, also very disappointed, that you think the type of speech that led to the murder of 6 million Jews in Europe. It is a shame you think hate speech and free speech are the same thing.

I could easily swap that with anything on your "like" list (apart from 3.5) and not have any problem.

Oh God .........paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif

This is a tricky subject for me to involve myself in. I'm a firm believer that one should be able to say whatever the frick they want (points to First Amendment), but I also believe that hateful anti-Semitism is disgusting, especially given its history (points to the Holocaust as well as the long long history of anti-Semitism across the United States). However, I don't believe that the government should just be able to shut up anti-Semitists. You can't control someone from sharing their beliefs, no matter how cruel and disgusting they are. You can control them from taking violent action for those beliefs, but banning them from speaking them is just wrong, even if there are good intentions. Plus, it's really the colleges' and local law enforcements' issue if its something happening on a college campus.

Free speech is an umbrella that hate speech just happens to fall under. It's gross and it's terrible, but it's just how it is. The government can't just wrangle hate speech out from under free speech. It's the citizen's job to regulate hate speech by fervently arguing why what their opponent is saying is horrible and disgusting and by trying their damn hardest to change people's opinions to be more open and accepting and non-hateful through education and debate. Power To The People , because the people are the ones who shape societal views.

I hope that made sense a-hard-days-night-paul-7

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28 March 2020
5.58pm
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Myself, I recognise there are always limits to free speech that are controlled by law. The most basic, shared by most democracies, is that you can't go into a crowded place and shout "Fire!". Hate speech, so far as I'm concerned, also falls within that category. The UK has restrictions on it, be it religious or racial, and I do not feel my rights to free speech are at all impinged upon.

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28 March 2020
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lovelyritametermaid said

Starr Shine? said

Monopolies are pro-capitalism but are anti-freedom. Boy howdy do I love the choice between buying at the megamart ten blocks from me or the megamart nine blocks from me.

All those banana republics, very free. Love it.

Funnily enough, I just finished an essay outline partly arguing that the federal government needs to take more action to regulate modern-day monopolies, in which I talked about how monopolies are clogging up the free-market by stifling competition and overall causing problems for Americans and the economy. Capitalism is a good thing, however when it's abused by wealth- and power-hungry corporations, there's a loss of freedom for the general American. Big businesses are cheating Americans out of money, especially the healthcare industry. Because of these points and much more, I can't fully agree with the blanket statement that @Beatlebug made that "anti-capitalism is anti-freedom." However, I don't entirely disagree..... a-hard-days-night-paul-7

Basically, my opinion is that the government shouldn't 100% be in charge of the market; however, big businesses shouldn't be able to take over the market. And the only way to stop them from doing that is through federal government intervention, because who else can keep these businesses in check? Their competition can't: they either don't exist or have been bought out/run out of town. Consumers have no control over anything: the only thing we can do as consumers and citizens is to petition the government for stricter regulation. We have legislation that aims to prevent the formation of monopolies, but they're not working because there are still big businesses acting as monopolies and trusts (Big Tech, Big Tobacco, the healthcare debacle, etc.). I'm all for a free market, but it's not really that "free" if one or two businesses are the ones active within it.

I have no idea if what I'm saying fits into the argument that was previously occurring but I just sort of went off on a tangent and I'm just gonna post it and see what happens, I guess mccartney-shrug_01_gif

I mostly agree with you in terms of regulation and such; I don't think markets are inherently bad in and of themselves, provided they are properly regulated and exist to serve society, not the other way around. However, I'm still a socialist, not because I think the entire economy should be run by the state, but rather that each individual workplace should be owned and democratically managed by those who work there. It's essentially the belief that worker co-operatives (which are empirically a superior version of traditional hierarchical businesses in practically every way - they're more stable, much less likely to fail, more productive, and result in much better wellbeing and satisfaction for the employees) should be extended to the entire economy.

In such a system, there wouldn't be need for the bureaucracy and authoritarianism that comes with central planning, as market forces would still be present to improve quality and drive down costs, but there would also be room for economy-wide coordination if it came to it, such as on issues like climate change, which could be done via larger worker's councils and co-operative associations. I think one of the reasons modern day capitalism is so destructive to our environment is because the decision making power isn't in the hands of people who are incentivised to protect it - when forced to choose between profits and environmental wellbeing, billionaires are probably going to go with the former nine times out of ten, whereas I think the opposite would be true were the power to be distributed among ordinary people who would actually have to live with the consequences.

For me, Tony Benn's Five Questions for Democracy - "What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you use it? To whom are you accountable? How do we get rid of you?" - have been very influential in shaping my opinions, as I believe they're an excellent means for speaking truth to power. In my opinion, the only economic system in which these five questions would return satisfactory answers would be one where the control is truly in the hands of the people; not via the proxy of a bureaucratic and inefficient state, but directly, in the workplaces we go to each and every day.

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28 March 2020
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On the free speech issue, if I recall correctly the First Amendment protects your right to free speech in any public forum, and stops the government making laws that abridge your freedom of speech, but it does not protect it in a private setting, as was recently confirmed when conservative propaga- sorry, I mean conservative "educational" channel Prager "University" (lol) tried to sue YouTube for apparently censoring their content, only for the judge to rule that because YouTube is a private company, it is not bound by the First Amendment to ensure freedom of speech. That's a fair ruling, IMO - if you want to make your own platform and espouse your views there, then that's fine, but you're not entitled to anybody else's platform, and so companies like YouTube are perfectly justified in regulating the content published on their service as they see fit.

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28 March 2020
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Man, I just love coming back to the forum and finding 4 individual mentions from the Philosophy thread. Always a grand feeling. ahdn_john_08_gif

*sings at self*
Ya do it to yourself, you do
And that's why it really hurts, is
You do it to yourself, just you –
You and no one else
You do it to yourseeeeeelllllflflflflflffffffffff *grungitudinous riffage ascends angrily into the heavens*

Jokes aside, a few points I want to address before I go to bed.

I was simplifying considerably, of course my actual beliefs are a lot more nuanced than just "Anti-capitalism is anti-freedom". I believe in a balance between the ineffective evil of centralized government control and everyone being completely slave to corporate monopolies, because I'm aware that human nature is frequently shitty, but that it should always lean toward less government control rather than more, because that generally seems to benefit everyone everywhere it's a thing. I'm not actually a proper libertarian, more just center-right. I actually agree with @lovelyritametermaid, essentially (though we may differ on specifics), on the subject of free markets, which is why I have some problems with what Qman says here:

@QuarryMan said
On the free speech issue, if I recall correctly the First Amendment protects your right to free speech in any public forum, and stops the government making laws that abridge your freedom of speech, but it does not protect it in a private setting,

This is 100% accurate

as was recently confirmed when conservative propaga- sorry, I mean conservative "educational" channel Prager "University" (lol) tried to sue YouTube for apparently censoring their content, only for the judge to rule that because YouTube is a private company, it is not bound by the First Amendment to ensure freedom of speech. That's a fair ruling, IMO - if you want to make your own platform and espouse your views there, then that's fine, but you're not entitled to anybody else's platform, and so companies like YouTube are perfectly justified in regulating the content published on their service as they see fit.

Ignore digs at specific subjects because they are petty and irrelevant to the argument (though I'm sure they were satisfying, and that's wholly understandable) and see bolded text. Is YouTube a platform or a publisher? There's an important distinction to be made there, because platforms legally cannot be held accountable for anything that is published on them and therefore must be free and open, while publishers can freely edit and choose what they want published and therefore must be held liable for libel, false information, etc. They seem to be trying to have their cake and eat it too, which isn't fair, especially as they have an effective monopoly over video-sharing services. Yes, there are alternatives such as Vimeo, Bitchute, etc. but really, YouTube is where it's at. Should the government break it up? Would that even work? Do we want to give the government control over something like that? It's a complicated issue and I don't claim to have a solution to it, but it's worth keeping in mind. I'll be surprised if you haven't heard of this argument before.

I do have to wonder if leftists (maybe not you specifically, but in general) who say they don't mind YouTube being heavy-handed with their rules and regulations because mUh private company (look at that capitalism go!), if it were BreadTube getting censored, would you hear a different tune? (sorry for that sentence construction. I'm tired. paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif)

And now, saving the best for last...

HAHAHA I KNEW someone was gonna imply that I'm supporting racists for opposing that particular executive order! Congratulations and thank you very much john-lennon-salute_gif

@Ron Nasty said

I'm sorry but I am shocked and stunned, also very disappointed, that you think the type of speech that led to the murder of 6 million Jews in Europe.

...what? The type of speech that led to the Holocaust what? ahdn_george_01

It is a shame you think hate speech and free speech are the same thing.

For that, I point you to Rita's post on the topic which I thanked two or three times because I could not have put it any better myself.

ALSO

Weimar Germany had hate speech laws and prosecuted several prominent Nazi figures such as Joseph Goebbels under those laws for saying anti-Semitic things, so it's patently false to say that a lack of hate speech laws lead to the Holocaust. They clearly didn't work in preventing the rise of the Nazis. They clearly don't work anywhere. They make things worse by alienating and radicalizing those whose views are silenced. They oppress everyone. They're just plain wrong. I don't care who you are, or how disgusting your views are, you have a God -given right to think and say them and I have a God -given right to think my own thoughts and say to you how disgusting your views are, and why you shouldn't have them, and you have a God -given right to refuse to change your mind and continue thinking and saying your disgusting views. Even if you don't believe in God , it's still true.

Ron Nasty said
Myself, I recognise there are always limits to free speech that are controlled by law. The most basic, shared by most democracies, is that you can't go into a crowded place and shout "Fire!". Hate speech, so far as I'm concerned, also falls within that category. The UK has restrictions on it, be it religious or racial, and I do not feel my rights to free speech are at all impinged upon.

1) Shouting Fire! in a crowded theatre (or whatever) is perfectly legal as long as there's actual fire. a-hard-days-night-george-10 JK but I did a quick search and it seems the whole "falsely shouting fire in a crowded theatre" thing was partially overturned in the US, which means only direct incitement to violence is not covered under free speech.
2) Falsely shouting FIRE! in a crowd, libel/slander/doxxing, or inciting violence are NOT equivalent to "hate speech" – which is a term so nebulous that it could be applied to virtually anything, depending on whose perspective you go by, which is precisely why it is so dangerous. I am well aware that the UK has restrictions on hate (free) speech, which absolutely appalls me and I feel bad for y'all even if you don't feel bad for y'all, especially as I've heard several cases of people being prosecuted for posting stupid edgy shit on the internet. The idea of giving the government control over what speech should and shouldn't be said is t e r r i f y i n g.

Libel/slander/doxxing and direct incitement to violence are things that are either false and/or materially harmful, or just plain materially harmful. Hate speech is saying mean nasty ugly things. One of these is not like the other. I don't know why I'm having to repeat this argument again, because I know you will never get it into your thick, stubborn, Taurus skull. (I love Taureans, but you can't argue with them. It's pointless.)

HATE SPEECH IS FREE SPEECH.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIKE IT TO AGREE THAT IT SHOULD BE ALLOWED.

CHRIST ON A BIKE.

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Beatlebug said

Is YouTube a platform or a publisher? There's an important distinction to be made there, because platforms legally cannot be held accountable for anything that is published on them and therefore must be free and open, while publishers can freely edit and choose what they want published and therefore must be held liable for libel, false information, etc.

Is the distinction between a platform and a publisher a legal one? I'm really not very educated on how the law works on this, particularly in the US, so I don't really have any answers when it comes to this.

They seem to be trying to have their cake and eat it too, which isn't fair, especially as they have an effective monopoly over video-sharing services. Yes, there are alternatives such as Vimeo, Bitchute, etc. but really, YouTube is where it's at. Should the government break it up? Would that even work? Do we want to give the government control over something like that? It's a complicated issue and I don't claim to have a solution to it, but it's worth keeping in mind. I'll be surprised if you haven't heard of this argument before.

I do have to wonder if leftists (maybe not you specifically, but in general) who say they don't mind YouTube being heavy-handed with their rules and regulations because mUh private company (look at that capitalism go!), if it were BreadTube getting censored, would you hear a different tune? (sorry for that sentence construction. I'm tired. paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif)

In this matter, it's not so much a case of what I'd like the situation to be (I don't like the fact that a private corporation has such a monopoly over the media we consume, either, obviously) as much as what the reality of the situation is right now. The fact is that the way the law in the US works, tech companies are not legally barred from discriminating against political viewpoints in either legislation nor legislative intent. Also, if we were to accept PragerU's argument that YouTube is a public service, and that therefore there shouldn't be any limitations on what you can say on there as per the first amendment, what happens then? Does YouTube have to be nationalised? How would that work internationally?

Personally, I don't have any particularly strong opinions on this topic, and there isn't really a hill I'm willing to die on. Consider me agnostic until the law or the constitution changesmccartney-shrug_01_gif

Also, as it turns out, the online 'conservative censorship' narrative is false and unsubstantiated by the data (studies have shown that right wing pages generally outperform left wing ones in terms of engagement and it's clear to anyone who goes on YouTube that the biggest right wing channels there dwarf even the biggest left wing ones), and I would even go as far as to say that left wing voices actually struggle far more than right wing ones, since they generally do not have the financial backing and access to advertising that their counterparts do.

There is no final victory, as there is no final defeat. There is just the same battle to be fought, over and over again. So toughen up, bloody toughen up.” - Tony Benn
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29 March 2020
9.49am
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Joe
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I've renamed this thread from "Philosophy" to "Politics and philosophy", to more accurately reflect what it's used for. Please try to avoid lengthy political discussions elsewhere on the forum (unless they're absolutely appropriate, but I'm not going to set a bunch of rules right now).

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29 March 2020
10.45am
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Starr Shine?
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I added a Beatles reference that emphasis the fact that life is short and while debating is ok, fussing and fighting is not.

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29 March 2020
2.39pm
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I really rather like the new title a-hard-days-night-george-9. It's a much better fit with a nice Beatley reference to tie it all together paul-mccartney-thumb_gif

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29 March 2020
3.07pm
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Ooh, this is a tough question that’s being debated. I’ll return later with a response of some kind.

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29 March 2020
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Love the new thread title apple01

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There is no final victory, as there is no final defeat. There is just the same battle to be fought, over and over again. So toughen up, bloody toughen up.” - Tony Benn
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29 March 2020
4.19pm
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I approve. paul-mccartney-thumb_gif

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29 March 2020
5.59pm
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Dark Overlord
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I agree with Quarryman on free speech. You should have the right to peacefully express yourself, no matter how degenerate it is but since websites like YouTube and Twitter are private corporations, it's up to them whether or not they want your content on their platform.

Beatlebug said
I do have to wonder if leftists (maybe not you specifically, but in general) who say they don't mind YouTube being heavy-handed with their rules and regulations because mUh private company (look at that capitalism go!), if it were BreadTube getting censored, would you hear a different tune? (sorry for that sentence construction. I'm tired. paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif)

I don't think big tech censorship has much to do with political alignment but instead has to do with independent voices vs corporate voices. Many independent leftists like The Amazing Atheist and Destiny have to deal with big tech censorship as well, while corporate Republican voices like Fox News never have to worry about it.

Not to mention, some of those right wingers who got banned said things that aren't protected by the 1st amendment, such as Alex Jones who regularly makes baseless slanderous accusations about people he doesn't like and Chuck Johnson who was banned from Twitter for threatening to take out civil rights activist DeRay McKesson.

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