So with my last piece I wrote that we should all strive to tell the truth no matter what. It is a simple, almost overtly obvious statement that perhaps needs some further examination. It is both necessary and powerful. In fact Alekandr Solzhenitsyn asserted that if people had refused to lie, if they had just been honest about what was happening many, many people would have been spared in Russia. This is the man who is touted as responsible for destroying the moral credibility of the Soviet Union; of ending any credibility in Marxist doctrine. For when you are promised utopia all manner of sacrifice is permitted and no evil too great to get that which is promised. With one great book he ended a tyranny. The thing is what is truth?
This is where things get far more confusing. As anyone who may have witnessed a trial, or argued with a child, or argued with a friend, colleague or family member. Each perspective has it’s own truth and we are seeing these playing out all the time on social media, in politics, and general conversation. In particular it would appear that the left and the right seem to be further from each other if not in goals but in methods. For all of the exclusion and inequality of the right, the 20th century was a lesson in the dangers of the far left. We all know that the path forward is not through either/or but rather the dialogue between the two. As the dialogue occurs we can further understanding. Understanding comes from listening not speaking; something far too many oft seem to forget.
It is this understanding that it seems we have forgotten to value. Whilst trigger warnings and being PC may protect some peoples feelings you may find it hard to locate a psychologist who would advocate for avoiding that which causes you discomfort. Rather, they would suggest that you should face your fears, not because they will make your fear less, but teach you that you are tough and strong and far more capable than you realize. That is not to say that we should all be out facing down what we are still coming to terms with. You must ask how concerned are you really that other peoples words may take hold in your heart that you must banish the sight of them. How little do you think of those around you that they would be so easily swayed but that which is undesirable. The truth of others is often undesirable and thus the importance of free speech. For people will think what they think regardless of what they say and that is what matters!
It is probably not possible to give a value to the positive effects of free speech. It is incomprehensibly important to modern society, thinking, values, culture, politics, etc, etc. Unfortunately that means people will say things we don’t like. Not that we have to listen, or give credence but there is still a right to speak. And speak we should for as we have established one should speak the truth, quietly and clearly. Senator Hanson has a right to be heard, for not all she says is bad, Mr Trump has a right to say what he likes, for he sees the frustration of the people with a broken system. However, when our leaders and our peers can lie with impunity the system has become corrupt and is in need in redemption, for without it will surely lead to destruction and chaos. So listen and think. Come to a greater understanding. That is where you can make change, that is where you can make things better.
I hope that helps.