A stampeding herd of sacred cows
Timothy Garten Ash in The Guardian:
…If the intimidators succeed, then the lesson for any group that strongly believes in anything is: shout more loudly, be more extreme, threaten violence, and you will get your way. Frightened firms, newspapers or universities will cave in, as will softbellied democratic states, where politicians scrabble to keep the votes of diverse constituencies.
But in our increasingly mixed-up, multicultural world, there are so many groups that care so strongly about so many different things, from fruitarians to anti-abortionists and from Jehovah’s Witnesses to Kurdish nationalists. Aggregate all their taboos and you have a vast herd of sacred cows. Let the frightened nanny state enshrine all those taboos in new laws or bureaucratic prohibitions, and you have a drastic loss of freedom. That, I think, is what is happening to us, issue by issue…
- Timothy Garten Ash, We must stand up to the creeping tyranny of the group veto
So is there anything that should be censored by force of law? It turns out there is a sharp, logically consistent line. Go read the whole thing! (From Buridan)