No “No Platform”

June 2024 Forums General discussion No “No Platform”

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 180 total)
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  • #109315
    LBird
    Participant
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    Lbird,the problem is, that your position is the elitist one here, since censorship requires a censor that hides information from the democratic polity.

    Since all societies 'censor', the only issue is 'who' should do the censoring.Ignoring this issue, as our 'free thought' individualists do, simply means that the censor, of necessity with this pretence, is hidden and unacknowledged.If fact, we'll simply find an elite of experts doing the censoring, rather than our society, democratically.Perhaps the notion of a 'self-denying ordinance' helps, here.

    #109316

    But society cannot democratically do the censoring, since in order to vote on what information to suppress society would have to disseminate it, in which case, it's not suppressed.  You'd need a technical elite to do the censoring.

    #109317
    ALB
    Keymaster
    LBird wrote:
    Perhaps the notion of a 'self-denying ordinance' helps, here.

    Good idea,

    #109318
    LBird
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    LBird wrote:
    Perhaps the notion of a 'self-denying ordinance' helps, here.

    Good idea,

    Is that a polite way to ask me to leave the site, ALB?If it was a joke, I'd've expected a smiley, to emphasise.

    #109319
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Not at all. I thought you were proposing that socialist society self-deny censoring any opinion, i.e that while it might reserve the right to do so it never would. Isn't that what you meant? Seriously.

    #109320
    LBird
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    Not at all. I thought you were proposing that socialist society self-deny censoring any opinion, i.e that while it might reserve the right to do so it never would. Isn't that what you meant? Seriously.

    No, that's not what I said at all.The context was me saying that censorship was inescapable.How you then read my comment as 'it never would', which implies censorship is escapable, I don't know.A 'self-denying ordinance' is the choice to self-deny. I thought you of all on this thread would have recognised the historical allusion.A society can choose to censor, rather than just let it happen (which, I've argued, it will, because 'censorship is inescapable').And if it is possible to openly choose, I think that society should choose, and the method of choosing should be democracy.As I've said, to me, the alternative is censorship by some other means, by an elite (perhaps, initially, of one).Once again, the basis of my argument is "workers' democracy", but that assumption doesn't seem to find many friends, here.Seriously.

    #109321
    ALB
    Keymaster
    LBird wrote:
    The context was me saying that censorship was inescapable.

    Apologies, but I don't think I've grasped your argument that censorship is inescapable. Can you go over it again?

    #109322
    LBird
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    LBird wrote:
    The context was me saying that censorship was inescapable.

    Apologies, but I don't think I've grasped your argument that censorship is inescapable. Can you go over it again?

    Simply, all societies find something to be 'beyond the pale', and I'm sure that we can find things now that we'd prevent being published, and I think Communism will be no different.If you know of a society that had no restrictions whatsoever on what its members could say and do, I'd be pleased to hear about it.I regard the notion of a society where 'free thought' applies to 'anything whatsoever' as a bourgeois myth, a part of the ideological wishful thinking of capitalism, and its 'free' markets and 'free' individuals.Since I think it's a myth, I don't think socialists should propagate this myth, in an attempt to 'recruit' (for want of a better word, my apologies) those disaffected with capitalism because for them "it doesn't do what it says on the tin".I think that it's better to be as honest as possible, and wean these 'anti-capitalist individualists' (who want to appear as 'pro-socialist individualists', simply because they recognise from bitter experience the myth of 'individualism in capitalism') off 'individualism' entirely.I think 'individuals' can only be produced by a society dedicated to producing 'individuals', in the sense we usually mean, that of 'social-individuals', given the finest education and experience, and participation in their society and its democratic decision-making, and critical thinking towards 'what exists'.Bourgeois society doesn't produce 'individuals' in this sense; but only 'individuals' who seek to 'escape' from society and its compulsions, both natural and social.I regard 'censorship' as a 'social compulsion', and all societies must protect themselves from 'deviant' thought and behaviour, otherwise the society would perish. Of course what counts as 'deviant' is determined by a society.All this comes as a nasty shock to those seeking the 'realisation' of 'bourgeois myth' through socialism, and the 'freeing of the individual from society'.I regard it to be necessary to make workers as conscious as possible of the workings of society, so that they can take control of it. Bourgeois myths of 'complete untramelled freedom for every individual' just make our task that much more difficult.

    #109323
    robbo203
    Participant
    LBird wrote:
    robbo203 wrote:
    I'm just being realistic here.

    Quite.As are all 'practical men'.For my part, I'm an 'unrealistic' revolutionary, who proceeds from criticism of 'what exists'.If you want to start from the political and ideological assumption that only a few can understand ''string theory", that's fine by me, but why not tell everyone what political ideology that position represents? Why are you reluctant to expose your ideology?Since I'm a Democratic Communist, and that means I assume that the vast majority of humans can understand their world, I don't share your version of 'being realistic'.From that Communist ideological position, the question is 'WHY don't many people in this society understand 'string theory?'.You no doubt, given your ideological elitism, will happily reply:'Because most people are thick, and the world is difficult to understand, only a few 'special individuals' have even the capacity to begin to understand!'.After all, you're just 'being realistic' – about this society.I would answer that question by saying:'Because scientific knowledge is restricted to an elite (our present society prevents all and any individual from having the freedom to study physics from kindergarten to post-PhD research) and that specially-chosen elite present their own findings in a special language (mathematics), the result is that few people in our present society understand 'string theory' '.After all, I'm just 'being realistic' – about a future Communist society.

     Once again, LBird resorts to misrepresentation and evasion. This is getting oh so predictable now. I've explained the point I  was making several times  and  I find it hard to believe that even he could not understand what the point was. Instead he offers this utterly disingenuous interpretation of  what I said – namely thatBecause most people are thick, and the world is difficult to understand, only a few 'special individuals' have even the capacity to begin to understand!'.I said nothing of the sort and LBird is being dishonest in suggesting that I did. What I actually said  is that no individual whatsoever can ever obtain more than a tiny sliver of the sum total of human knowledge.  Do you understand what I'm saying LBird? "No individual " means NO ONE – no elite, no small minority, no tiny group  of specialists  just… no one.   Zilch.   Zero.  Nada de nada .  Comprende? If you understand this point then you will understand my next  point which is that if it is literally impossible for any one individual, no matter how clever or gifted,  to understand anything more than a tiny sliver of the sum total of human knowledge  then that means she or she cannot sensibly vote on anything except that on which she knows something about – which relatively speaking is not much at all  in comparsion with what there is to know.  If  I know nothing about String Theory how can I possibly vote on whether it is sound or not? You dont say.  You just avoid the question What that means is that  for every scientific theory that is put forward there is only likely to be  a relatively small number of  people who will have either the inclination or the necessary knowledge to "vote" on it.  That does not mean the rest of us are "thick" –  those same individuals who know a lot about String Theory may know nothing about some theory in Molecular biology while a molecular biologist may know nothing about String Theory Two points. Firstly let us be clear what we are  NOT talking  about something so vague as  the world being "difficult to understand".  We can all "understand the world" in broad general terms and I have not  suggested otherwise.  What I am talking is specific detailed scientific theories  about the world  – like String Theory.  LBird knows this but dishonestly hides behind a vague generalization to escape the consequences of his own idiocies. Secondly, let us be clear what L Bird is saying – that as far as these specific detailed scientific theories a vote should be taken to determine the" truth" of  the theory in question. He has not explained  how a  vote under his so called "workers democracy" is going to be organised  amongst a global population of 7 billion individuals – not just on the merits of String Theory but literally thousands and thousands of other scientific theories.  He runs away every time he is challenged to show the logistics of how this is all supposed to work. Nevertheless he is adamant that a vote must be taken and those theories that are voted down must be "censored" meaning they must not be allowed to be expressed, must be bannedThis is the mind set of the Catholic Church in the pre Copernican era .  In that era it was heretical to express the idea that the earth revolved around the sun rather than the sun around the earth. People were burnt at the stake for thinking or saying that. In contrast to  the anti democrat , LBird, with his absurd  fascistic obsession with censorship and toeing the Party Line , I say there should be no censorship at all.  None whatsoever.  Remember  that we are talking about specific detailed scientific theories about the world. I maintain that if people want to believe that the sun revolves around the earth then let them! So what if they do?  You are not going to stop them thinking that by simply and piously declaring that a majority thinks otherwise. If LBird had his way people would STILL be thinking the sun revolves around the earth because that was indeed the conventional wisdom of the time held by virtually everybody.  Only a few brave souls dared to question it at first.  But under LBirds totalitarian fascism – its laughable that he calls himself a "Democratic Communist" – no  theory would be permitted that contradicted the established view.  There would be no debate, no science , no difference of opinion just mass conformity under a regime of total censorship Actually, despite his claims to be a democrat LBird is bringing democracy into disrepute. You cannot have democracy without the right to disagree but, more than that,  he is obscuring or diverting attemtion away from, what democracy is all about.  Democracy is about practical issues that affect us in a practical way – whether for example this or that road should be built, whether we should construct nuclear power stations or opt for alternative energy.  Democracy is not about voting whether String Theory is correct.  That's just stupid. The fact that a minority who  have gone through the farcical  business of voting on the matter continue to think the theory is not correct , is not going to have practical consequence for us will it now? One last thing, LBird with his ever fertile imagination,  imagines that because I say no individual can acquire anything more than a tiny sliver of the stock of human knowledge that that means I think most people are "thick". . Well no it doesn't mean that because, as I say, this applies to everyone without exception while using the word "thick" implies thart there are some who are "not thick".  But more than that, the expression "thick "implies people are incapable of understanding.  Its a reference to their capacity to learn. It is quite different from saying most people are ignorant about most things and I am not even saying that.  I am saying that everyone – not most people – is NECESSARILY ignorant about most things.  We are all without exception merely human However I am not saying, and have never suggested,  that people are incapable of understanding some particular detailed  scientific theory like String theory – only the sum total of scientific theories.  Yet this is what what the word "thick" implies, that people are incapable of understanding,  and LBird dishonestly suggests that that is what I am saying. But I am not saying that at all!!!  Of course it is possible for most, if not exactly all,  people to acquire a working grasp of, say String Theory, given the inclination and the time to do so. Nevertheless I suggest that most people will have neither the time nor the inclination to do so. LBird doesn't grasp this because he lives in a fantasy land in which there is no such thing as opportunity costs. He doesn't seem to understand we cannot possibly become specialists in everything. Christ, how long does it take to become an accomplished neurosurgeon? Years and years!!. And yet  you, LBird, expect  this same neurosurgeon to become  an accomplished nuclear physicist, an accomplished land management consultant,  an accomplished child psychologist , an accomplished zoologist and a thousand and one other things Get real L Bird!

    #109324
    ALB
    Keymaster
    LBird wrote:
    Simply, all societies find something to be 'beyond the pale', and I'm sure that we can find things now that we'd prevent being published, and I think Communism will be no different.

    I can't think of any view on how society should be organised or on what policies to adopt that should be banned under capitalism let alone in socialist/communist society. Maybe you can. If so, I'd be interested.

    #109325
    LBird
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    LBird wrote:
    Simply, all societies find something to be 'beyond the pale', and I'm sure that we can find things now that we'd prevent being published, and I think Communism will be no different.

    I can't think of any view on how society should be organised or on what policies to adopt that should be banned under capitalism let alone in socialist/communist society. Maybe you can. If so, I'd be interested.

    Well, under capitalism, slavery, eugenics, beating wives, breeding low IQ humans for hunting, torturing animals, etc., etc.Under socialism/communism, private property, wage labour, propagating nationalism…There's always the 'crowd-rousing' issue of paedophilia to be considered, of course. But I think paediatricians will be allowed…

    #109326
    ALB
    Keymaster
    LBird wrote:
    Well, under capitalism, slavery, eugenics, beating wives, breeding low IQ humans for hunting, torturing animals, etc., etc.

    I can agree that doing these things should be banned but not why advocating them should be. There is not much danger in that as they are not likely to get any degree of support for putting them into practice and can easily be refuted. You don't think that there are likely to be people who would be "corrupted" by hearing such outlandish views and so need to be protected from this, do you? If not, what is the case for banning their expression?

    LBird wrote:
    Under socialism/communism, private property, wage labour, propagating nationalism…

    Once again, these are all undesirable but I don't see any need to prevent people from advocating them if they want. Nobody's going to listen to them anyway. In fact I doubt if anyone is going to want to advocate them. I think you've been reduced to scraping the bottom of the barrell Seriously, why should we seek to prevent people advocating a return to capitalism? Why can't they still have their say while the socialist majority has its way?

    #109327
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    A weird thread indeed.I recall a couple of years ago setting up one to discuss censorship within a socialist society and within the socialist movement and whether or not it was compatible with the principles of the WSM. At the time censorship was being used to control the contributions of several forum members.My views on censorship had been formed in my early exposure to the SPGB and Socialist Standard articles, such as the one in the link provided by ALB in the opening post of this thread, from which the following two quotes are taken.

    Quote:
    There is a further point: all censorship — especially censorship of this kind, allegedly exercised for the benefit of the working class — is an insult to the intelligence of ordinary working men and women since it implies that they cannot be trusted to hear or read certain ideas and are incapable of making rational judgements on the merits of rival ideas. Those who favour censorship always assume that they are somehow superior to ordinary people and have the right to decide what ordinary people should or should not hear. Censorship is an elitist policy
    Quote:
    WE STATE unambiguously that ALL censorship is anti-Socialist and anti-working class.

    I found that a number of SPGB members either denied censorship was being used or that a little was necessary for maintaining control.

    #109328
    LBird
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    I found that a number of SPGB members either denied censorship was being used or that a little was necessary for maintaining control.

    This sums up my point, really.I think censorship is inescapable, and it's better to admit this, and state clearly who has the power to censor.Otherwise, it will just happen, and be denied, and it will be certain individuals or elite groups who censor, without the knowledge or permission of workers' organisations.To me, claiming there will be a regime of 'entirely free speech' in the future is misleading now, and in effect a lie, since those claiming that it will happen, surely can't be so naive as to believe that they're telling the truth. Or are they so naive about power?Mind you, if they can define 'democracy' as 'free association', anything's possible.'Democracy' means "workers' power", not 'free association'.

    #109329
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    What's all this shouting? We'll have no trouble here!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOtpgz4L5d8Your turn to be the  the 'elephant in the room', SP  

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