Freedom of Speech

How to Determine if it is Hate Speech or Love Speech?

Executive Summary

  • The term hate speech has been developed to categorize speech in a derogatory label without having to provide evidence that the speech is false.
  • We cover how dishonest the term hate speech is.

Introduction

This is the argument presented regarding hate speech. The presentation is that education eliminates all hate speech. Under this logic, arbitrarily defined hate speech occurs from a lack of education, and once educated all speech becomes some type of either neutral speech or love speech. 

See our references for this article and related articles at this link.

What seems to be left out of this presentation is that most critical forms of speech have not to lead to violence.

There is also a problem with what is categorized as hate speech.

Secondly, punishing people for statements that are not with the status quo is not the hallmark of civil society. In fact, it is just the opposite. For example, the Soviet Union also punished people and would send them to Siberia, for an improper and non-status quote and “approved” statements. All dictatorial regimes greatly restrict speech, with China and North Korea being sterling examples.

It is the most advanced society that have the most freedom of speech. The most backward with the most dictators have the lowest freedom of speech. It is not surprising that this man, who is from Africa has little appreciation for freedom of speech, as Africa overall has extremely week freedom of speech laws. African countries have made a cottage industry of blaming any shortcoming within their countries on colonialism, however in the many decades, since the colonial period ended, African countries have done little to pass legislation to improve freedom of speech.

Stopping Hate Speech…..Before it Becomes Speech?

Also, let us remember that a person thinks a hateful thought before they utter hateful speech.

So why can’t hateful thoughts also be outlawed?

Why take the chance of anyone hearing any hateful speech at all? It seems pretty dangerous to have all these people running around “off the leach” with the ability to make hateful speech at any time and any place. Something should clearly be done about this.

And new technology enhances our ability to stop hate thought. In the past, we could not know what people thought, but with modern CAT scan technology, the parts of the brain associated with criticism light up. This means that by placing biosensors in some type of modified FitBit we can stop hate speech before it happens, but monitoring people on a 24/7 basis. And the hateful people can be arrested and prosecuted without trial for a thought crime. This would require the world population to submit to mental monitoring by a central agency, but isn’t it a small price to pay to stop hate thought?

This is of course roughly the plot of the 2004 movie Minority Report.

How Governments Would Like to Leverage Hate Speech Laws

Governments seek to pass hate speech laws that can be used to defend corporations and the government. Governments always oppose freedom of speech by their populations. It is citizens who demand freedom of speech from governments. However, hate speech proponents are aligning themselves with governments to shackle the population, and governments are loving every minute of it. Any government would absolutely love to use hate speech laws to prevent criticism of the government by their populations. To the Chinese government, all critiques of the government typically result in a visit from the police and often a stint in a Chinese prison/weight-loss facility.

This is very hard criticism of an elected official — the type you never see with the “professional news organizations” like ABC, NBC, etc.. However, how much do you think the target of this criticism would love to have this video banned by calling it hate speech? 

How Hate Speech Laws Can be Used to Stop Any Speech

All that is necessary to stop freedom of speech is to categorize speech as hateful. For instance, one of my articles that criticized IBM for unethical business practices was called hate speech by an IBM employee who had no answer for the criticism but does not want the criticism published. He then admitted that IBM were “thugs.” However, this statement was not categorized as hate speech. This demonstrates a repeating pattern with those that use the term hate speech. Hate speech is the speech they disagree with, and they do not have to play by the same rules they apply to others.

The Status of Freedom of Speech Worldwide

I reviewed freedom of speech laws around the world. The vast majority of countries have poor protections for freedom of speech.

Observation #1: The High Number of Religious Protections Against Freedom of Speech Worldwide

Many of the limitations on freedom of speech prevent the criticism of religion. This is particularly true in any country that is Islamic. Naturally, Islam does not recognize any distinction between church and state. It took many years for Christian societies to finally break free of the Christian Church’s control over speech, and one of the first entities that would step up to support making hate speech illegal is any church, which would naturally like to go back into time when they could threaten Copernicus with death for his hateful speech about the Earth not being the center of the universe. This was considered hateful as it denied the centrality of God from people’s worldview. If Jesus was the son of God, and Earth was the planet he chose to work as a carpenter then the Earth must by normal deduction be the center of the universe. The Christian term for hate speech was heresy or blasphemy and the person who committed it a heretic or blasphemer. And the Catholic Church often burned people at the stake for this crime.

And naturally, it is entirely arbitrary.

Pope Leo issued a Papal Bull in 1520, requiring Martin Luther to retract his statements about the Catholic Church. Pope Leo viewed Martin Luther’s statements as heretical. Naturally, Martin Luther thought of the corrupt Catholic leadership in Rome as against the teachings of the bible (for example opposing indulgences and idol worship, which Martin Luther pointed out were nowhere in the bible.) And he wrote the following.

Luther defiantly proclaimed in his response that “…whoever wrote this bull, he is Antichrist. – Wikipedia

And his action was the following.

Luther himself tossed a copy of the bull into the flames. Having done so, Luther is reported to have said, “Because you have confounded the truth [or, the saints] of God, today the Lord confounds you. Into the fire with you! – Wikipedia

The various Christian denominations have a long history of calling other denominations heretical and stating that they will burn in hellfire for eternity for disagreeing with their view on the bible.

The Reformation Wars went on in Europe for over a hundred years. 

Not to be outdone, Islam also has a long history of murdering their heretics and would consider heretics from within Islam to be worth even more to be murdered than murdering other faiths, as the following quote explains.

Ottoman Sultan Selim the Grim regarded the Shia Qizilbash as heretics, reportedly proclaimed that “the killing of one Shiite had as much otherworldly reward as killing 70 Christians.” – Wikipedia

Enormous numbers of people had their heads severed from their bodies by one denomination or another for what amounted to thought crime. Yet proponents of hate speech legislations would like us to forget that there is already a long history of prosecuting individuals for violating various speech codes. Hate speech legislation advocates would like us to think that their hate speech restrictions are not like Stalin’s speech restrictions or the Catholic Church’s restrictions on speech. They are the “nice” restrictions on speech.

The Protestant-Catholic wars and conflicts in Europe are a primary factor that caused the US founding fathers to include the establishment clause in the first amendment in the US constitution, which reads as follows.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

The Establishment Clause acts as a double security, for its aim is as well the prevention of religious control over government as the prevention of political control over religion. – Wikipedia

Although the establishment clause broke with what the colonies had been doing up to that point. As is covered in this quotation, which is a little known feature of the original American colonies.

Prior to American independence, most of the original colonies supported religious activities with taxes, with each colony often choosing a single church as their official religion. These official churches enjoyed privileges not granted to other religious groups. – Wikipedia

The establishment clause has been misrepresented by those that would see it from only one perspective.

The Establishment Clause is a limitation placed upon the United States Congress preventing it from passing legislation forcing an establishment of religion, broadly making it illegal for the government to promote theocracy or promote a specific religion with taxes. The second half of the Establishment Clause inherently prohibits the government from preventing the free exercise of religion. – Wikipedia

Religions have tended to view the establishment clause as allowing “freedom of religion,” however this is only observing one part of the establishment clause. The establishment clause stops any religion from being able to impose itself on others — which is a habitual problem with religions. Since before the founding of the US, back when it was made up of colonies, religions have attempted to undermine religious freedom by making their denomination superior to both other denominations, but also to those who do not practice any religion.

Getting back to the topic of heresy, notice how close the term heresy is to hate speech, in the latter part of the definition when heresy is applied to non-religious speech.

Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religious teachings, but is also used of views strongly opposed to any generally accepted ideas. A heretic is a proponent of heresy. Wikipedia

Observation #2: Asia and Freedom of Speech

The restrictions on freedom of speech in many Asian countries border on the comical (if the implications weren’t so dire). Japan has the most freedom of speech. China, of course, has no freedom of speech, and Taiwan considered one of the most progressive countries in Asia has such extreme restrictions on freedom of speech, that a person can be criminally prosecuted for something as amorphous as “disturbing the harmony,” of society.

Observation #3: Islamic Countries and Freedom of Speech

Islamic countries are a complete washout when it comes to freedom of speech. In most cases, speech critical of the government or Islam leads to prosecution — unless the speech reaches so few people that it is not of concern. It is appropriate to say that Islamic thought is in opposition to freedom of speech. In Saudi Arabia, the punishment for blasphemy is death. We have covered freedom of speech in Islamic countries separately in the article How Bad is the Freedom of Speech in Muslim Countries?

Observation #4: The Countries That You Would Think Have Freedom of Speech, but Don’t

What was amazing was to find that neither Australia nor Canada has freedom of speech laws. Both have a type of implied freedom of speech, but the statutory protections for freedom of speech are weak. The fact that Australians nor Canadians have not stepped up and demanded freedom of speech closer to the US is was surprising to learn. Unlike the US, neither Canada nor Australia every won their independence from England through a war, and therefore they are highly based upon the British common law system, which is a highly elitist system. And elitist systems naturally oppose freedom of speech. These restricted freedom of speech laws is now being used to shut down speech in Canada that is not sufficiently PC.

However, not all countries in this category can use the excuse of being ex-British colonies. Finland, one of the most advanced countries in the world, and never colonized by the British have both blasphemy laws and hate speech laws.

Observation #5: The Lack of Progress on Freedom of Speech

Countries like India have had over seventy years since independence but have yet to pass freedom of speech laws. India still has the British sedition laws, and never made a single attempt to alter them.

Freedom of speech is also restricted by Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which deals with sedition and makes any speech or expression which brings contempt towards government punishable by imprisonment extending from three years to life. – Wikipedia

This is odd, as one might have guessed that the leaders of a newly independent country would want to pass freedom of speech laws that removed the restrictions on speech that were applied by a colonial power. This is expressed in the following quotation. India adds to restricting freedom of speech by having it so easy, and so common to have people murdered. In practice, no national or local publications can be said to be anything more than mouthpieces for elite Indian interests.

What is curious is that many of these countries advertise themselves as modern. However, their freedom of speech laws tells a very different story. It is important to reflect on how much the restrictions on freedom of speech hold countries back from exposing corruption and generally making social progress.

Observation #6: The Overstatement and Overestimation of Freedom of Speech

It’s important not to listen to what countries say about themselves when ranking them for freedom of speech. Most countries declare they adhere to freedom of speech. However, they normally have exceptions that entirely undermine freedom of speech. Because of this, it is freedom of speech is far more widely assumed than exists in reality.

The reason for this simple. Countries want to pretend to be enlightened, but don’t actually want to follow the rules of being enlightened.

So they state they agree with freedom of speech in principle and then go about criminalizing speech under these “exceptions.” Thailand is an excellent example of this faux freedom of speech.

While the Thai constitution provides for freedom of expression, by law the government may restrict freedom of expression to preserve national security, maintain public order, preserve the rights of others, protect public morals, and prevent insults to Buddhism. The lese-majeste law makes it a crime, punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment for each offense, to criticize, insult, or threaten the king, queen, royal heir apparent, or regent. Defamation is a criminal offense and parties that criticize the government or related businesses may be sued, setting the stage for self-censorship. – Wikipedia

With these many exceptions, Thailand cannot be said to have freedom of speech. The fact that defamation is a criminal rather than civil offense is a major impediment to speech because imagine who has the power to push for criminal prosecution? Yes, the large powerful entities in Thai society.

This is also what hate speech laws would also do. The person proposing them would say “I still support freedom of speech,” but not “under conditions of hate.” Or a person might support freedom of speech, but “not when it comes to insulting people’s religious beliefs.” Instituting these types of exceptions illustrates that the person does not understand what freedom of speech is. And this does not include non-legal punishments for freedom of speech. For example, while there is no US law that is normally applied in the modern area to those that advocate against war, there is a social cost that has always been enforced. Even though both wars against Iraq and Afghanistan are now known to be have been based on false information, there was still a large social cost that was paid by those that opposed the war. Not supporting the invasion of two countries that are not a threat to your country and is entirely based around stealing their resources is still considered unpatriotic.

However, all of this has been far worse in the past.

In the US it has been a practice to tar and feather those that were anti-war. Eugene Debs and many other anti-war protesters were jailed for opposing WW1 for running afoul of the little known sedition act. How many Americans would like these facts to be known, as isn’t the US the bastion of free speech and the

“Land of the free and the home of the brave?”

The reality is that US freedom of speech evolved over time, and the level of freedom of speech was far greater after the 1960s, where freedom of speech was upheld in the courts than it was before the 1960s.

Selective Freedom of Speech

Another standard applied is selective freedom of speech. This is where the person supports their right to freedom of speech but opposes the freedom of speech of those that disagree with him. In fact, the only test for support of freedom of speech is whether you support it for the speech you disagree with. Everyone agrees that people should be free to say or write things they agree with.

Europe Moving Away From Freedom of Speech as it Has Accommodated Large Numbers of Immigrants

Hate speech laws are being increasingly passed in Europe. These laws are highly inconsistent and restrict the freedom of speech of the domestic population to critique recent migrants. However, the hate speech laws do not for instance appear to apply to Muslims, who can level any critique at Western culture or against the local population. Hate speech laws place different individuals in different groups into superior or inferior positions. It is well known that the elite support large scale immigration.

Observe how German hate speech laws are being used to censor factual information about Islam, information read directly from the Koran. 

And why do elites support immigration? Well, large numbers of immigrants lowers their cost for workers, which increases their profits. Immigrants pull more from social services than they pay in with taxes, but this is not the concern of businesses, as that is a cost that is generalized to the overall tax base. In this way hate speech laws reduce criticism against class warfare by the elites against the rest of their domestic populations. Therefore opposing this immigration amounts to opposing elite opinion.

Observation #7: Freedom of Speech Reductions That Should Have Been Major Stories in Establishment Media but Weren’t

One has to wonder how much of focus freedom of speech is by major media outlets when I find things that happened very recently related to reduced freedom of speech but have not been major stories.

The Prosecution of Julian Assange

One example is the relative silence on Julian Assange, currently being prosecuted in the US. In fact, in the US as so much of the establishment media is aligned with the defense industry complex, many US journalists support the prosecution of Julian Assange.

Freedom of  Speech Rollbacks in Turkey

A second is the horrendous rollbacks in freedom of speech in Turkey as the following quote explains.

The government this week (Aug 2019) destroyed more than 300,000 books linked to the 2016 failed military coup; last year, a report from the Pen foundation found that 200 media outlets and publishing organisations had been shut down, 80 writers subjected to investigations and prosecutions, and more than 5,800 academics dismissed from 118 public universities. – The Guardian

The Impact of Immigration in European Based Countries on Freedom of Speech of the Domestic Population

The end result of every country that has received immigrants is that the freedom of speech of the domestic population has declined. Even without government penalties, the social penalties one pays for speaking out against immigration is now enormous. Under freedom of speech, both pro-immigrant and anti-immigrant contingents have a right to make their case in public. However, only the freedom of speech of pro-immigrant groups, which not only includes naturally the immigrant groups but also the speech of companies that financially profit from immigrants now have the right to speech — without facing negative consequences.

This is why the term hate speech is so baseless. It is merely a way of limiting speech that the powerful entity does not want to be published.

Furthermore, I found something very odd when looking up the definition of hate speech.

No problem here (although it’s unclear if describing the underhanded tricks IBM uses versus its clients or how they hire foreign workers on student visas qualifies as prejudice). This definition seems clear.

But the problem arises when looking for the inverse. 

Nearly all terms have an inverse. Why is there no definition listed for “love speech?” What if you promote something, why wouldn’t that be love speech?

How can a term be legitimate if it has no inverse?

The Confusion Between Love Speech and Hate Speech

Let us perform a logical test on the concept of hate speech.

Is Praise of Stalin Love Speech or Hate Speech?

Let us say that a person was an enormous fan of Joseph Stalin. And he wrote about Stalin’s qualities and how good he was for the Soviet Union, and how anything he did that we normally call an atrocity was justified because of the challenges that Stalin faced. Is this categorized as love speech or hate speech.

Reading the definition above, it is not threatening and does not express a prejudice. It shows nothing but appreciation for Stalin. Therefore, could we call it “love speech?”

It is very unlikely that praise for Stalin would be accepted. Given what Stalin did, it is most likely to be categorized as hate speech. After all, what about all of Stalin’s victims?

Any praise of Stalin would naturally be categorized as hate speech because it disagrees with the consensus on Stalin. However, this is the problem. Hate speech is not just criticism, it can be praise. Therefore the actual definition of hate speech is that it disagrees with the status quo view on any given topic. And not even that it is criticism or vitriolic.

Is Praise of a Domestic Population Love Speech or Hate Speech?

As a second example, if a person praises the domestic population of a country, and states that no immigrants are required to fill jobs — which is the proposal by corporations, is this love speech or hate speech?

The most likely answer is it is hate speech.

Why?

Well, it diminishes immigrants, and since immigrants are a protected group, and domestic citizens of a country no longer are, it is hateful. Again, the definition is primarily around whether the statement supports or detracts from the status quo.

In this way, hate speech serves a similar purpose to the term “conspiracy theory.” A conspiracy theory, originally a madcap idea that those who have mental issues believed it, has been adopted to be any idea that is non the status quo explanation of any item. The term “conspiracy” is not at all declarative, because it simply means that more than one person knew of something and that the plan was kept secret before it was known by the public. The introduction of New Coke would also fit this technical definition.

How terms like conspiracy are used to discredit ideas is covered by Noam Chomsky in the following quote.

“If something comes along that you don’t like, there are a few sort of four-letter words that you can use to push it out of the sphere of discussion. If you were in a bar downtown, they might have different words, but if you’re an educated person what you use are complicated words like “conspiracy theory” or “Marxist.” It’s a way of pushing unpleasant questions off the agenda so that we can continue in our own happy ideology.”

Conclusion

Hate speech is a term concocted by those that oppose the freedom of speech. It is used to silence the speech of those with which they disagree, and particularly useful if the proposal of the speech is true, and the person opposing the speech is unable to provide evidence to the contrary.

Hate speech legislation criminalizes whatever can be categorized as hate speech. As my experience being accused of hate speech in pointing out uncontested unethical behavior by IBM, the term can be used to categorize and delegitimize any criticism. Under hate speech legislation, criticism of IBM could be publishable with a criminal sentence.

The term hate speech is invalid and nothing more than a reincarnation of the term heresy or blasphemy under a different, secular versus religious, excuse for punishing speech.