Given The Chance, All Governments Would Abolish Freedom Of Speech (Will Grigg)
Thursday March 21st, 2013
With the support of leaders from all major political parties, the British government has announced plans to create an official “press regulator” empowered to impose fines and demand prominent corrections of stories deemed to be unreliable. The new restrictions would also apply to bloggers and other independent Web-based commentators.
Britain is not alone in this turn toward totalitarianism. A similar system is quietly being established here in the putative Land of the Free.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter filed a complaint with that city’s Human Rights Commission accusing a magazine of “racial incitement” for publishing a story dealing with race relations. Downey, California resident Hashim Bomani was hit with a restraining order after using his blog to criticize Steven Golightly, director of the LA County Child Support Services Department.
Dominic Ray Aguilar, a 37-year-old cab driver from Roseville, California, has been charged with making “terroristic threats” against Police Officer John Moody. That threat supposedly came in a Facebook post condemning Officer Moody for gunning down an unarmed man named Ernesto Duenez, who was shot eleven times in the driveway of his home.
The totalitarian impulse is not limited to Marxist or Islamist regimes. Given a suitable excuse and sufficient power, every government would criminalize dissent and punish its critics.