No “No Platform”

MAY 2022 Forums General discussion No “No Platform”

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  • #109435
    moderator1
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
     Something tells me that YMS is done with discussion on this issue. So I guess ALB could have his way, ensuring no further discussion can be had on this thread.If this thread were to be locked as per ALBs instruction, would it be intentional or unintentional censorship?

    Ha, ha.  Good point.  And yes it would be intentional censorship.  If that is, I looked on ALB's suggestion as a an "instruction" rather than a friendly prod, which it wasn't.  So from my end its a thumbs down for ALB for the only instructions I'll take on board here are those from the I.C. or the EC.Good grief I've just realised I've gone and committed an unintentional censorship by denying a No, no platform to ALB!  Or have I?But seriously, the only reason I can figure out for locking threads is when they become a year old.  If a massive disruption was to break out here all I have to do is use the rules wisely.  So this thread still remains open for those who are inclined to have a pop at such a touchy subject.

    #109436
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    It does appear to be a very touchy subject indeed, Mod1. I think it's why we had a call for this thread to be locked up. Somwhat ironic considering the titleI'm not being sarcastic and I might even sound like an arse licker to some, but with calls for people to be banned, threads to be binned, and recently a call for this thread on censorship to be locked. I'm very pleased we have a moderator who can steer a path through it all.Of course everyone, won't agree with every decision, (how is it even possible) but it could be a whole lot worse. 

    #109437
    moderator1
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
     Of course everyone, won't agree with every decision, (how is it even possible) but it could be a whole lot worse. 

     I've done my best to point out the democratic method and the decision making process can be a double edged sword and this will still pertain in a DPD ( nudge to LBird).  OK I went off the rails a bit here and on the Moderation Suggestions thread but it was purely to draw the users attention to my side of the story.I have to stick by the rules and the moderation guidlelines stipulate not for me to pre-judge or to take punitive action.  With this in mind I'm not inclined to any knee-jerk reactions and some decisions I've made might take 2 to 3 days to reach a balanced outcome so its acceptable and appropriate to a majority of the users.  And I'm fully aware that this lack of rush on my part really gets up some users noses.  And I apologies for that, but that is the way I am.However, when all is said and done, the fact of the matter is that without the cooperation, positive feedback and the dissent from all of the users it would be impossible for me to do the job of moderating to the best of my ability.  

    #109438
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    I'm not being sarcastic and I might even sound like an arse licker to some, but with calls for people to be banned, threads to be binned, and recently a call for this thread on censorship to be locked. I'm very pleased we have a moderator who can steer a path through it all.

     Mod1 has taken on a very difficult task and I think he has risin to the occasion.  I hope he stays in the job .  

    #109439
    northern light
    Participant

    Have I logged into some alternative reality, or is this a Socialists season of goodwill?  SocialistPunk and Vin, back-slapping the Moderator? Look, if you two guys are getting paid for saying this, then I want my cut, because I think our Moderator has handled himself very well, "under fire."  There has only been one dodgey moment, but hey, he is only human. By my count, I have voilated Rules 1;2 & 14,  but it was worth it.

    #109440
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I know I'm probably making a mistake in reviving this corrupted thread as it risks setting them all going again, but I can't help pointing out that the media are reporting a parallel argument between the Tories and the LibDems over banning Islamist extremists from speaking at universities, with the Tories saying "No Platform for Islamist extremists" and the Liberals saying "Put them on a platform and refute their views":http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/mar/01/government-row-over-limiting-free-speech-on-university-campuses

    Quote:
    Lib Dem sources insisted it should be open to universities to ban specific speakers if they felt this was justifiable, but they should also be open to use their judgment when a speaker should be allowed so long as his argument is going to be challenged in debate.One source said: “There is a power in rational, thoughtful debate changing impressionable minds. Sometimes it is better to defeat these ideas in argument rather than simply banning someone. That can simply drive the debate underground or off campus to somewhere else. If anyone is inciting violence that is already unlawful, and if a university believes someone should be banned they should be open to do that.”The Lib Dem source pointed out that some student organisations were trying to ban Ukip or the BNP on the grounds that their views were extremist.

    Note that the Tories are using the same arguments for their "No Platform" policy as the SWP do for theirs:the elitist view some people have "impressionable minds" and should be protected from hearing views that might mislead them.

    #109441
    SocialistPunk
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    I know I'm probably making a mistake in reviving this corrupted thread as it risks setting them all going again,

    Ouch! Nothing hits harder than condescension.I came across the same story, ALB refers to, this morning. After thinking about this issue further, I can see why some are tempted to exclude "extremist" views from the debating arena. While I'm all in favour of openly exposing and taking apart views that are considered problematic or flawed, it isn't as easy as it sounds.Ideas of religious and racial extremism are particularly hard to debunk in the minds of those who hold them. Sure, to those of us who think we are rational they appear ridiculous. I recall watching a bemused Richard Dawkins failing miserably to make a dent in the armour of the US biblical creationists in a documentary a few years ago. On this site a couple of years back, we failed to destroy the racial views of someone who showed up to discuss that issue. So often it's just the unpleasantness of a person holding those views that swings the balance of opinion, rather than the ideas being destroyed.Has the SPGB ever utterly destroyed the ideas of religious or racial extremists? Some examples would be welcome.

    #109442
    jondwhite
    Participant

    I don't think the SPGB claims to be able to destroy extremist ideas whether religious or racial only that free discussion is the best environment in which to reduce or expose irrationality.

    #109443
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I was going to make the same point as JohnD but he got there first. The purpose of a public debate is not to convince the opponent but the audience. That's why we say it's better to debate fascists, islamists, etc in public and expose their views rather to stop their views being expressed whether by law (as the Tories propose) or by mob violence (as the SWP do).I don't think either that there are such things as instant convincings. What we are talking about is the free circulation of ideas and, as JohnD points out, this as being the best condition for the spread of socialist ideas. I don't suppose we have convinced any "religious or racial extremists" themselves but we certainly have convinced people who were once influenced by them.

    #109444
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    ALB and JDW

    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Ideas of religious and racial extremism are particularly hard to debunk in the minds of those who hold them.

    I'm well aware the purpose of open discussion is the attempt at influencing the audience as to the strength of competing ideas. I've mentioned it once or twice in posts over the years and is the key point in my inviting SPGB members to engage in discussion about censorship, with kudos going to YMS for participating. I also simply asked if the SPGB have ever debunked, not lay claim to be able to debunk, the ideas of religious or racial extremism.I thought the hint was obvious, but I guess I'll have to be more explicit. Are there any recorded debates available between Party members and groups that hold extreme racial or religious views? Any ideas as to how to approach and counter such views is always welcome, surely.

    #109445
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I don't know if this is what you mean by "recorded" but there's a more or less complete record of the Party's debates over the years here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_Party_of_Great_Britain_debatesScroll down and you'll see we debated the British Union of Fascists in 1935, the Union of British Freedom in 1946,  the Union Movement in 1955,  the National Front in 1969,  the Islamic Party of Britain in 1990, the Luton Cultural Islamic Society in 1995, and UKIP in 2009 and 2014.So we do practice what we preach. I think only the 2014 one with UKIP was recorded in the other sense. There also exists a press report of the 1969 debate with the NF, This was broken up by the Trotskyists, which explains why we've not debated with groups they designate as "fascist" since..

    #109446
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Thanks ALB,A fascinating list indeed. What I meant by recorded was more specificaly audio recordings, as I'm aware some of the Party audio recordings have been transfered to digital format.Not sure what the "So we do practice what we preach." sentence refers to. I've long known the SPGB have debated and are willing to debate with right wing groups. 

    #109447
    ALB
    Keymaster

    There's an audio tape of the two opening statements in last year's debate with UKIP here on this site:http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2015/no-1326-february-2015/our-general-election-campaign If you want to see a rather amateur video of this (taken on her mobile) plus the UKIP candidate going on and on about the European Court of Human Rights at Strasburg (which is not part of the EU) it's on her youtube channel here: http://www.fanlook.net/view/Oyi1qYopafUIncidentally, two or three ex-members of UKIP have joined the Party in the past couple of years.

    #109448
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Thanks ALBIt's on page 4 of the audio menu, if anyone's interested.Interesting thing you say about the three ex-members of UKIP joining the SPGB. Any idea as to the general reasons for the quite dramatic shift in their political stance?

    #109449
    ALB
    Keymaster

    All I know was that one of them is on record as saying that he left UKIP because he felt its working class members like him were being treated as mere foot soldiers.

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