26 April 2020

Being effective dissidents without freedom of speech

When we oppose the status quo - the rule of the establishment - the pain motivating our actions is often very specific to us as individuals, leading to our own unstable brands of political advocacy. It is always tied to a sense of being deceived, and this in turn leads to emotional behaviour. It can also lead to outbursts we did not think through - to a series of accusations against states and/or corporations that often don't have merit, but we as accusers no longer cared to check properly. That is where caution is needed, so as not to damage your own cause. In defense of dissidents as emotional accusers, it is possible that a system or regime can be already guilty enough that it became forgivable to stop thoroughly fact-checking each accusation brought against it. Anyone accusing the state of lies can be presumed to be correct, if we reached a point of no return. Officials already proven to be liars can be accused of lying again, without us hearing further evidence they are lying. It can reach a point where everything they say is rejected by us. Where the emotional accusations become a hindrance to an effective dissident is where they result in a strong counterattack against the dissident, leading effectively to the dissident recanting or being otherwise eliminated. When a dissident intended to be destroyed or took the risk willingly, as Julian Assange may have done, it can be considered a form of martyrdom and therefore a victory. However, if the dissident actually aimed to maintain their brand, in hopes of some level of input into a civilised political discussion, or to maintain an official publication or source of revenue, then the destruction of the dissident is a definite defeat. It served no purpose. Such individuals are useless even to their own cause, in the end. If dissidents find that they are being de-platformed, hidden from search results, or otherwise censored online because they made emotional claims or peddled a conspiracy theory that holds neither strong evidence nor credibility in any academic or journalistic source, that is a defeat. It is a defeat because they won't even be able to convince people that their sacrifice was a real one. It is also an avoidable defeat, and a lamentable one, because unfounded claims and emotional-based tirades are not ultimately worth sacrificing for. The only thing worth sacrificing your freedom of speech for is to expose a definite crime - one you could not only prove beyond any doubt in a court of law but one you really will prove in the eyes of society with your sacrifice. People who are de-platformed or get their writing omitted from search results because they asserted uncertain or disputed claims and theories as facts, and because they broke laws and rules they did not know existed in doing so, are making a mistake. They are at fault for becoming lazy, and could easily have continued to be an effective dissident if they kept to promoting better-founded criticisms of the state instead of unproven claims. We should all investigate what is acceptable discourse and self-censor whatever we can't establish as true for all readers. On any topic under dispute, we should look for scholarly backing for what we say, and we should make sure we check and understand our own words and the implications of them under law before saying them. We must stand on the shoulders of giants and be able to deliver our own points with the competence of scholars - like all those best dissidents before us in history - before we analyse or speak. We must make sure that - in the event you really are censored - the world has really lost something and has become less beautiful. We don't have freedom of speech. For us to somehow pretend we do, in hopes of eventually being censored or detained so we can then disprove freedom of speech, would not be clever but incredibly foolish. Trying to provoke the powers that be into censoring or detaining you, or more likely just damaging your finances and ability to reach readers, is ineffective for promoting any cause. It is a self-imposed defeat, unless you are going to expose a real crime or truly change society's perceptions of the state in the way Assange, Manning and Snowden did. - LOrdreNet - Mont Order society


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