[-empyre-] VII: free speech and its ends

lgm at theorbiolchem.org lgm at theorbiolchem.org
Fri Oct 12 20:01:24 EST 2012

If "liberal" means "right wing" (down under), we have problems. On the  
other hand, mis-speaking and mis-naming is now (during the last 20-30  
years) the style in politics and the media. And they do it on purpose.  
Is it free speach? Yes, everybody has the right to say stupid things,  
although it is kinda confusing sometimes.
The real question is: how to moderate politics.

  Quoting Jonathan Marshall <Jonathan.Marshall at uts.edu.au>:

> What i think interests me about public and private divisions, and  
> free and repressed speach is that they are often taken as binaries,  
> while they are a continuum, and constantly argued over, and the  
> powerful tend to determine what is what to an extent... but all is  
> ultimately ambiguous.
> thus in Australia at the moment:
> A radio broadcaster made remarks about the prime ministers dead  
> father dying of shame at the PMs actions, to a 'young liberal' party  
> which was clearly set up to denigrate the PM and raise funds out of  
> the denigration. Was that private speech? Yes say one side of  
> politics, no say the other side. Was it within the bounds of free  
> speech, Yes says one side of politics, no says another. Was it the  
> responsibility of the broadcaster or the young liberals, or the  
> liberal party? Generally everyone tries to blame the broadcaster or  
> the leader of the liberal party. That the prime minister is a woman  
> is relevant here as the broadcaster has also attacked powerful women  
> for destroying the country, and appears to dislike her....
> Later on a petition on facebook protesting the remarks persuades  
> advertisers to remove advertising from his radio show. The  
> broadcaster describes this as trolling and cyberbullying, and  
> suppression of free speach, but obviously he is still talking. Is  
> this suppression of free speech. Yes says one side of politics, no  
> says another.
> The speaker of the house is revealed as having compared female  
> genitalia to mussels without shells in a mobile text message to his  
> then gay friend. Is that private? is that public. Yes says one side  
> of politics, no says another. Is it politically relevant Yes says  
> one side of politics, no says another. Does he have a right of free  
> speech. Yes says one side of politics, no says another. He resigns  
> anyway - 'suprisingly' the side of politics that believed in free  
> speech for the radio broadcaster tries to deny the speaker his right  
> to speak to his issue in the house. The sides are not even vaguely  
> consistant. It is all the contest.
> The Liberal leader refers to the denigration of the PMs father in  
> his speech attacking the speaker. He is attacked for this.  
> Afterwards he claims to have been oblivious to the reference. what  
> is public what is private, what is relevant.... what is in the  
> bounds of free speach?
> The Primeminister makes a speech against misogyny and the leader of  
> the opposition. The largely middle aged male political reporters in  
> parliament, decide its not worth reporting - but a woman links to it  
> on a newspaper website and the speech becomes hailed as important by  
> lots of people, particularly women. Which decision was private and  
> which was public, which supported free speech which didn't?
> If you say something and it falls dead have you spoken? If you say  
> something not wanting it to go further and it does have you spoken  
> or not spoken? If you refer to something someone else said is that  
> speaking what they spoke or not?
> Oh and the liberal leader reputedly mouths obscenities and insults  
> to the prime minister constantly, and they are not part of the  
> parliamentary record. Is that free speach or not - did he say  
> anything or not?
> and so on....
> jon
> and in case you don't get some of this, in Australia 'liberal' means  
> 'right wing'.....
> ________________________________________
> From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au  
> [empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Rob Myers  
> [rob at robmyers.org]
> Sent: Friday, 12 October 2012 4:48 AM
> To: soft_skinned_space
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] VII: free speech and its ends
> On 10/11/2012 06:38 PM, Alan Sondheim wrote:
>> in both cases, people feel their areas are their 'homes,' and that
>> implies one might do what one wants. Fb is a corporate state; email
>> lists are TAZ (temporary autonomous zones), very different, but people
>> feel comfortable in both -
> Yes that's true. The difference is the source of the coercion: the state
> in the former example, private individuals in the latter. They don't
> compare.
> Facebook is an interesting overlap, but the specific examples I have in
> mind are in the UK where people are now being prosecuted for writing the
> wrong thing online (and I am not using this as a euphemism for "making
> threats" or "organizing riots").
> I'm just reading the TAZ book...
> - Rob.
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