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Saturday, April 6, 2019

Free Speech and The Snitch Next Door

     The end of free speech will not necessarily come when there are soldiers in the streets, secret police in the alleyways and a mustachioed man screaming at you on a television set that can't be turned off no matter how you turn the knob or click the buttons. [George Orwell, 1984]

     Some of these things existed in totalitarian countries, but they were there to sweep up the hardened dissenters who refused to be silenced. The vast majority of citizens did not have bugged phones or men in trench coats following them around.

     That was what their friends and neighbors were for.

     The first line of offense by a totalitarian society against freedom of speech is sourced to the people in the streets. No secret police force is large enough to spy on everyone all the time. [The NSA seems capable of doing that.] Nor does it need to. That is what informers are for.

Daniel Greenfield, "Lynching Free Speech," Frontpage Mag, December 27, 2013 

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