“Your own praxis of publishing contradicts the critique of free speech!” Ruthless Criticism

“Your own praxis of publishing contradicts the critique of free speech!”

“...I read your critique of free speech and you say a lot that is worthy of more thought. However, I am of the ‘opinion’ that you contradict this critique by publishing books, presenting lectures for public debate, and writing on your website. Without the constitutional guarantee of democratic free speech, these things would not be possible for you or other leftists, and this dialogue with your readers and listeners, which I consider important, wouldn’t take place...”

Do you want to argue that my criticism of free speech would only stand to reason if it were corroborated by a state ban on speaking and publishing? Isn’t it obvious that this question gets you into a paradox: that this debate couldn’t even happen because you probably wouldn’t ever have heard my critique of free speech?

Isn’t it sufficient for purposes of “corroboration” – to bring up, for once, the other side of the permitted freedoms – that you can’t hear these critical judgments about freedom and democracy on television or read them in major daily newspapers; unless they are quoted and screened out as ideas that are improper in a democracy? Isn’t it sufficient for you that the schools and universities long ago removed from the curricula and lessons anything not dedicated to the constructive criticism of democratic rule – along with the exponents? Isn’t it sufficient for you that anything like this is only available from niche self-publishing houses in small editions that are barely stocked by the big bookstores? Isn’t it sufficient for you that you and your peers have only encountered “improper ideas” by fluke? Well, it is sufficient.

And besides, isn’t it already a scandal that democracy tends to exclude from general discussion any ideas characterized as undesirable precisely by indicating that they are permitted under the constitution? And isn’t it just as scandalous that the citizens whose interests regularly and chronically get crushed are comforted by the fact that they have been conceded the freedom to complain? And that the citizens who make use of it acquire the contradictory character of freedom-loving and freedom-exercising underlings?

And have you never heard the judgment coming from the mouths of politicians that critics of free speech have as much as forfeited it? A judgment that immediately implies the next step: “get to work, intelligence agencies!” Whereby the hint is entirely besides the constitutional point that the substance of judgments should perhaps first be examined in public debate for their coherence before being blacklisted, screened out, and handed over to the exorcists of extremism. They are examined only for their permissability. The power of interpretation is held entirely by the intelligence agencies. The judiciary does the rest.