New-ish "free speech" app, Parler

One can advocate state ownership of the economy without advocating the elimination of ethnic groups, gays, the disabled, etc. One cannot genuinely subscribe to Nazism in the commonly understood meaning of the term without subscribing to a certain degree of human ‘cleansing’ as it were - not unless they explicitly state such exceptions.

For the record I’m not comparing all Trump voters or even his enablers to Nazis, but am responding to Dibble’s point.

Do they respect the results of a fair and free election, though?

They don’t have to LIKE the results. I get it, it didn’t like the results in 2016.

But I wasn’t delusional, I never denied that Donald Trump had won. I respected the results, even if I had absolutely no respect for the individual.

Displaying nazi symbols is illegal in Germany. Yet with everything that has happened in the US the last four years culminating with Trump’s ongoing attempted coup, I would argue that Germany is a lot closer to being the model for democratic government than the US is.

I would agree. And there are similar hate speech laws in Canada (which are much misunderstood by some libertians and free speech absolutists) which arguably has a far more functional liberal democracy than the US.

Yeah, sorry about that.

I can really go either way on the question of “Which is worse, Nazis or Communists?” On the one hand, Communists definitely seem to have killed more people over the course of the 20th century than did Nazis (or even Nazis in particular, plus fascists in general). On the other hand, there does seem to be something more coldly vicious about Nazism–Communists were at least trying to create a better world, however misguided (or downright fanatical and cruel) there methods were.

But, IF I were in fact arguing for state suppression of speech–which I am not–I might even argue that we should therefore prioritize suppressing Communism, precisely because it’s less obviously evil, and good and decent people might wind up supporting such ideas. (Arise, ye slaves, no more in thrall–A better world’s in birth! Hell, who can argue with that?) But those people, who would never support anything as obviously wicked as Nazism, might thereby put into a power a Stalin or a Mao or a Pol Pot.

In reality, I’m not in favor of state suppression of ideas, and I tend to think arguments along the lines of “Which is worse, Nazis or Communists?” are not really very helpful. Both are off-the-scale bad (and by “Communists” I mean Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot; just as by “fascists” or “right-wing dictators” I mean Hitler, and not Franco or even Mussolini–although I’m no fan of Mussolini or Franco or even António Salazar). I oppose Nazis and Communists (and all sorts of other dictators) and I resolutely refuse to choose between this or that version of dictatorship, as if we must choose between some “better” or “worse” form of tyranny.

The statement that drew me into this thread was this:

Because, to me, that doesn’t sound like an argument for “You, personally, should not be a Nazi”, which of course I agree with. No one ought to be a Nazi. But, I find it very strange that someone would agree with the PZ Myers quote, but turn around and say they aren’t arguing for state suppression of Nazism. According to that bumper sticker statement above, at least since 1977 the government of the United States has been “actively pro-Nazi”. (Of course the government of the United States has, by the logic of PZ Myers, also been “actively pro-Communist” and “actively pro-Christian Reconstructionist” and “actively pro-misogynst”–and at the same time, “actively pro-feminist” and “actively pro-liberal” and “actively pro-libertarian” and “actively pro-conservative” and “actively pro-democratic socialist” and “actively pro-secular humanist” and so on and so forth.)

I don’t want the government of the United States to be “actively pro-Nazi”! But, I strongly reject the idea that, by not engaging in state suppression of the expression of Nazi ideas, that the government of the United States is thereby “actively pro-Nazi”. (I am aware that at times the U.S. government has genuinely been “actively pro-Nazi”, in things like “Operation Paperclip”. I don’t approve of that, even though I do approve of SCOTUS’ decision in National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie.)

As to the point that countries like Germany, which suppress certain expressions of Nazism, are still liberal democracies: Some of the arguments in this thread have really not filled me with much confidence that advocates of such suppression won’t then turn around and say “See, we suppressed Nazis, and that was fine–now let’s suppress Nazis, and fascists, and religious fundamentalists, and misogynists, and… and… and…”. With me personally at least, such arguments are really not helping your case. They do seem like a slippery slope. Again, the statement “Not censoring Nazis is not a neutral stance, it is actively pro-Nazi” seems less like any kind of principled argument for suppressing Nazism in particular, as being a unique evil unlike all others, and more a sweeping claim along the lines of “If you’re not with us you’re against us!” or “There is no neutrality!”–precisely the sort of logic that I associate with tyranny of one kind or another.

As for Parler–fuck 'em. I’m sure Parler is and will be a wretched hive of scum and villainy, I won’t be signing up with them, and if they go out of business–IF they fail in the market, as opposed to being shut down by the U.S. government–I won’t shed any tears for them.

I think Parler is both good and bad, and it has nothing to do with who is using it.

On the good side, it’s always good to have competition. If people post the same content on Parler and Twitter, we will be able to see exactly what is and isn’t suppressed on Twitter, and that’s a good thing. I like transparency and competition. Twitter now has a bit of a check on its own censorship, as they will drive customers to an alternative if they aren’t careful.

Today, those customers are almost exclusively conservatives. But in the future Twitter could decide to censor all kinds of things, so it’s great to have an alternative.

On the bad side, this will contribute to the balkanization of information and make it that much harder for opposing sides to have meaningful debates since we won’t even be able to agree on the base facts.

Agree. As it turns out, part of what Twitter is censoring are calls from Republicans to commit violent acts towards Democrats.

Excellent posts and it captures the essence of why communism is worse. It’s the seductive nature of the argument that is employed precisely because it can appeal to the masses without being easily countered like Nazism is. Nazism is an obvious danger and evil that resulted in millions of deaths. And communism resulted in almost an order of magnitude more and persists to this day.

Of course the state regulating speech is problematic because as soon as the apparatus of the state is captured by a few ruthless men or women all the power of the state plus extrajudicial means can be used to squash dissent. This used to be accepted as fundamental to classical liberalism. Funny how it isn’t anymore.

Therefore, it’s good to have more and more outlets for expression. Even expression that is odious.

Well, the elections were rigged.


They are an unabashedly anti-democratic party in that sense alone, even if we set aside their brazen efforts at voter suppression and voter intimidation. This is perhaps the main reason why its leaders have proved so reluctant to dissociate themselves from Trump’s specious allegation that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged”. They know that the system is rigged. It is rigged to favor Republicans. And they relish not only the irony of Trump’s audacious reversal of the truth, but also the way it distracts attention from the genuinely unconscionable rigging that gives an American minority the power to impose its will on the American majority.