Vox co-founder Ezra Klein has rarely ever presented me a reason to take him seriously. His website is a hub for everything society is learning to despise, be it mistruths, half-baked philosophy, and some of the worst takes humanity has to offer about any particular subject.
Recently, there’s been trouble in paradise at Vox. Vox writer Matt Yglesias signed his name onto a letter put out by Harper’s Magazine that promoted the idea of free speech, which is a huge scandal on the left. Among those who signed their name to this letter were 150 artists, writers, and journalists including J.K Rowling, Cathy Young, and David Frum. This letter has caused no end of outrage around certain figures, especially J.K. Rowling.
It’s believed that Klein muzzled Yglesias, preventing him from speaking on the subject with anyone. This is a nasty move in itself as it essentially is punishing Yglesias’s desire for free speech by taking his free speech.
If you had any doubts that Yglesias was shut down by his bosses. pic.twitter.com/njyAxj61ZN
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) July 8, 2020
As slimy as that is, it doesn’t end there. Klein then took to Twitter himself and effectively slammed his own employee’s promotion of free speech while simultaneously calling the desire for free speech a quest for control.
No, I’m not joking.
“A lot of debates that sell themselves as being about free speech are actually about power. And there’s *a lot* of power in being able to claim, and hold, the mantle of free speech defender,” tweeted Klein.
A lot of debates that sell themselves as being about free speech are actually about power. And there's *a lot* of power in being able to claim, and hold, the mantle of free speech defender.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) July 8, 2020
So let me dissect what Ezra Klein just said.
People who are willing to give up control of public discourse and allow people to speak of their ideas freely are the ones trying to seize power because being on the side of free speech holds a lot of power.
The fun thing about freedom is that you give up power over others in order to retain power over yourself. You are in charge of you, your belongings, your business, and your family. Anyone else’s attempts to interfere with your pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness can be laughed off, or if the utmost need calls for it, violently laughed off.
The power in standing for free speech is the power that most people like being left alone to their own devices.
Is Klein saying this is a bad thing? Is the Vox co-founder suggesting that this is an illegitimate power to have and that the argument itself isn’t a valid one?
Is he saying that those of us who do stand up for and defend free speech are power-hungry frauds?
As ridiculous as this entire tweet is, it gives us a glimpse into the left’s thoughts about things through one of its “top minds.” Klein has shown his hand when it comes to his thoughts about the free speech question, and we can conclude that the left would dismantle free speech if they could in order to institute controlled speech that allows control over the entire discourse around any given narrative.
If Klein’s digital puke is any indication, it’s because they see free speech and those who support it as fraudulent. That we don’t really believe in free speech and are really just fighting for speech that’s only allowed when we on the right (or any free speech supporters) say it should be.
This is demonstrably false as it’s not conservative or libertarians looking to kick people off of platforms for wrong-think, but I’m not entirely sure the left believes that either. Rather, it seems like a thin justification for attacking free speech.
“If we don’t control it they will and we can’t have that because they’ll just do what we would do and since we’re the good guys it might as well be us in control of the public discourse.”