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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Niall Ferguson

 

 

Freedom is rarely killed off by people chanting “Down with Freedom!” It is killed off by people claiming that the greater good/the general will/the community/the proletariat requires “examination of the parameters” (or some such cant phrase) of individual liberty. If the criterion for censorship is that nobody’s feelings can be hurt, we are finished as a free society.

Where such arguments lead is just a long-haul flight away.

The regime of Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, in Venezuela, used to be the toast of such darlings of the American Left as Naomi Klein, whose 2007 book “The Shock Doctrine” praised Venezuela as “a zone of relative economic calm” in a world dominated by marauding free market economists. Today (as was eminently foreseeable 10 years back), Venezuela is in a state of economic collapse, its opposition leaders are in jail, and its constitution is about to be rewritten yet again to keep the Chavista dictatorship in power. Another regime where those who speak freely land in jail is Saudi Arabia, a regime lauded by Women’s March leader and sharia law enthusiast Linda Sarsour.

Mark my words, while I can still publish them with impunity: The real tyrants, when they come, will be for diversity (except of opinion) and against hate speech (except their own).

Niall Ferguson, British Historian

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

9 Comments

  1. Some of us might think that whispering, “You can be like God,” in Eden was the most vile hate speech ever…and how nice it was that not one person on Earth had their feelings hurt when it was spoken..

  2. Many well-educated people with whom I work say they would rather be identified as liberal progressives against Trump and the uneducated lower white class that voted him into power. They look down on anyone not sharing their paradigm, marginalizing by sophist ridicule those whom they cosider their intellectual inferiors.

    Now I share their frustration over Trump – he knows nothing about the Constitution or how government really works, and other than personal loyalty and personal kindess, he has no principle. Nevertheless, the disrespect shown his supporters – some of whom are actually very well educated – is nothing but outright contempt and disdain. That fuels this whole movement of diversity except in opinion and opposition to hate speech except their own.

    I have had real serious conversations with my co-workers who are anti-Trump. They have a lot of valid points, particularly when it comes to my area of nuclear power, the Department of Energy, etc. I can’t go into all the details here because that’s not relevant to the subject of Donald McClarey’s post. But with all due respect to the President, the man is ignorant when it comes to technical, engineering and scientific fields (of course, what politician isn’t?). And the younger people in my industry pick up on that ignorance and project it onto all his supporters without distinction, unfairly stereotyping everyone disagreeing with them.

    This isn’t going to end well, especially when the people opposite of me politically do have some valid points that I cannot simply ignore out of hand.

    For the record, I voted for Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party in November of 2016. My hands are clean at least in this [ though certainly not in anything else 😉 ] and I proudly state that.

  3. His words are chillingly sobering.
    What will it take to preserve freedom from perverse and distorted pagans?

    A civil war?

    The Church Mush isn’t helping.
    Relativism has infected many.
    Truth? What is Truth? Our Lord is hearing this again..but now it’s from his closest friends. His consecrated ones.

    A clandestine holy church in America?
    A possibility.
    A certainty if we let it by doing nothing more than remaining silent.

  4. The right to speak is the right to prevail. The disputes over ‘free speech’ are derived ultimately from the self-concept of certain professional-managerial occupations: the educational apparat, the legal profession, the media, the mental-health trade, and now the tech industry. They conceive of themselves as the school administrators while the rest of us are unruly adolescents.

  5. I don’t think “freedom” is an absolute good– in part because it can’t be, with free will*, and in part because as Fulton Sheen said, freedom to do what— but I notice the shutting down of free speech is very high cost (damaged communication) for very low return (possibly some people do not feel bad because of what they hear; definitely other people are hurt by being actively told that they are unacceptable without even a trial, and definitely people are hurt by not being able to trust the communications they get, and possibly people are hurt by what they don’t hear.)

    * explaining:
    if you have free will, then two people can want two contradictory things; if they are both absolutely free, then they must both be able to get what they want– which is impossible.

  6. The Church isn’t so mushy. Here is Bishop Jose Luis Azuaje Ayala, who spoke recently on the results of the Constituent Assembly election that is intended by the government to impose a new constitution and the general situation:

    “On Sunday, [July] 30 we could see with our eyes the small amount of participation of the people in the elections. In this way a direct, informal, but experiential audit was made. Before six o’clock in the afternoon, which was the official time of the closing of the tables, they sent to speak to one of the observers of the National Electoral Council to announce that there was an immense number of people remaining still in lines to vote, and the vote was extended for another hour. I looked at the school that is close to the diocesan see where there were several polling stations and it looked like a desert. They tried to make people believe that there were voters at that time. There’s nothing more false. It was like the official announcement of fraud…before and during the electoral process for the Constituent Assembly, many people were coerced and threatened to attend to vote…

    “There is large number of murders that, according to the national prosecution, number 121 deaths. Of these, 25 percent have been murdered by state security agencies and 40 percent by groups of armed civilians sympathetic to the regime. There are more than 1,500 wounded, with more than thousands of detainees, in little more than three months, give us a hellish picture that would make any person or institution worried about the lives of citizens at stake…

    “[The economic collapse] is the result of dire governmental policies, of improvisation, of wanting to establish a socialism without humanist support, and in its place generating a permanent conflict plagued by corruption and violence…

    “Whenever this government has been at a disadvantage, it has asked to dialogue, but it is always the same script: dialogue is used to gain time and advance in the hegemonic project of totalitarianism and greater power of domination”

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