1/ Herein I will argue that censorship is a much greater problem than “disinformation”, and against the belief that conspiracy theories are dangerous, justifying suppression of free speech…
2/ I believe that it is the worst ideas that need to fear critical analysis the most. Censorship is essential to repressive regimes throughout history and around the world. It is predictable where this will lead.
3/ The more severe the consequences are for voicing unpopular opinions, the less people will voice them. The less people voice them, the narrower political discourse will become, and fewer people will develop a critical analysis of the forces that are shaping their lives.
4/ Over time, the society will suffer the psychological consequences of the suppression of their human instincts towards emotional connection, and become increasingly neurotic, fearful and depraved. There will be less laughter, more paranoia. Less curiosity, more xenophobia.
5/ There will be increasing support for violent punishments against those who are seen as threats, as the society subconsciously seeks to purge itself of its festering inner turmoil by directing its negativity outwards.
6/ For a group of people that is deeply miserable, the easiest way to affirm solidarity is to be united in the hatred of an enemy. It does not particularly matter who the enemy is, it is enough that they are seen as different.
7/ The hatred of the out-group affirms the group identity of the in-group. This is a toxic manifestation of the human craving for belonging, the need to understand oneself as part of a tribe, and it is at the root of the psychology of fascism.
8/ Over the past few years, many “progressives”, “liberals”, and even “anarchists”… have reversed their traditional stance on free speech, and come to see it as allowing for the rise of fascism. I believe the opposite is true – suppression of free speech leads to fascism.