The formation of totalitarianism is often insidious in that it is almost always sold to the public as “humanitarian”; a solution for the greater good of the greater number. But beyond that, tyrants will also exploit the ideals of the target population and use these principles against them. Like weaknesses in the armor of a free society, our ideals of freedom are not necessarily universally applicable at all times and in all circumstances; we have to place some limits in order to prevent oligarchy from using liberalism as a tool to gain a foothold.
This battle for balance is the defining drama of all societies that endeavor to be free. It might sound hypocritical, and your typical anarchist and some libertarians will completely dismiss the notion that there should be any limits to what people (or companies) can do, especially when it comes to their private property. But at what point do private property rights encroach on the rights of others? Is it simply black and white? Does anything go? The bottom line is, in the wake of covid controls and mass online censorship, it is time for those of us in the liberty movement to have a frank discussion about where the line is for the rights of businesses.
The problem went mainstream initially a few years back when Big Tech companies that control the majority of social media sites decided that they were going to start actively targeting conservative users with shadow bans and outright censorship.
Here’s the thing: If we are talking about smaller websites run by private individuals, then yes, I would argue in defense of their right to remove anyone from their site for almost any reason. Their website is their property, and much like their home they can do whatever they want within it. Denial of access to an average website is not going to damage the ability of a person to live their normal lives, nor will it fundamentally restrict their ability to share information with others. There are always other websites.
But what if we are talking about massive international conglomerates? Should these corporations be given the same free rein to do as they wilt? Do private property rights and free markets extend to them as well, even if their goal is the destruction of the very principles of freedom we hold dear?
And, what if a host of small businesses in a given place decide they are going to implement freedom crushing mandates along with major corporations? What if they are all manipulated by government incentives or pressure?
What if governments do not need to implement totalitarianism directly at first because businesses are doing it for them? Do the dynamics of private property change in this case?
At least he didn’t start quoting Stalin, Mao or Hitler.
Joe Biden told a Swiss audience on Wednesday that Americans yield their rights to the government.
Democrats wish that were true!
Joe made the comments during his press briefing where he screamed at some woman and took time out to lay his jacket on the ground.
Joe Biden: You heard me say this before, again and again. I’m going to keep saying it. What’s that idea. We don’t derive our rights from the government. We possess them because we’re born. Period. And we yield them to a government.
The White House announced today that President Biden will nominate Catherine Lhamon to serve as the Department of Education’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights — the same position from which she oversaw efforts to undermine the due process rights of students accused of sexual misconduct during the Obama administration.
Under Lhamon’s leadership, the Office for Civil Rights enforced guidance that gutted due process protections and violated the First Amendment. Lhamon used that guidance to pressure institutions to restrict constitutionally protected speech and disregard basic procedural protections in campus disciplinary hearings.
By putting forward Lhamon for this crucial role, President Biden has signaled that he would rather colleges go back to old, failed policies — policies that have earned rebukes from dozens and dozens of courts to date — than pursue Title IX policies that take the rights of all students into account.