The truth is that Voltaire never said "I don't agree with what you are saying, but I will fight to the end for your right to say it". This is just "democratic" lore. And yet "demodrones" like to invoke that before they shut your mouth for daring to present a truly different point of view.
The truth is that there are roughly two kind of people out there:
Type A: the "extreme center"
This guy thinks of himself as a democrat, pluralist, a person who defends free speech and a free debate. He also happens to be a doubleplusgoodthinking ideologue who really believes that everybody sane and decent has to agree with his views are they are self-evidently the correct ones. For him, the free discourse is really an opportunity to correct the crimethinking individual who has so clearly erred away from the truth. While Type A thinks of himself as a pluralist, he really thinks in lockstep with with all those who think exactly like he does. He sees everything through a a very narrow ideological prism. I call this type the "extreme center". They care about conformity much more than about seeking the truth. They are hopelessly lukewarm and unable of true passion.
Type B: the extremist
This guys just seeks the truth in the opposition of ideas. He values honesty and decency much more then consensus (which he mostly views with suspicion). The more exotic or outlandish idea, the more interested he is, especially if this idea is well substantiated. He is naturally fascinated by extremists not because he agrees with them, but because he admires their passion and logical coherence. Type B can vehemently disagree with somebody and yet respect, and even admire, this person and he wants views other than his own to be available and discussed on their merits. He is a real extremist. He cares about the truth much more than about confirming to society's latest ideological dogma.
I want to remind those who complain to me about something written on another Saker blog (such as the French Saker blog being critical of Marine LePen) or those who pour scorn on Sheikh Imran Hosseins' views that the Saker Community is formed by and for "Type B" people. We are not a political party, we do not hold a single political line and we do not have to agree with, or endorse, everything we, or other parts of our community, post.
While our society condemns with disdain all the authoritarian and totalitarian regimes of the past, we fail to realize that most of us have been turned into a pathetic 21st century Hitlerjugend who instead of parroting "ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer" now say "one ideology, one norm, one discourse" which, if you ask me, is just as bad.
If that is what you want, if you seek validation and reassurance - just go elsewhere as you will not find that here. If you want to be comforted in your views and if you want those who hold truly different ideas to be vilified and ridiculed - just go elsewhere as you will not find that here. If your idea of pluralism is "we all are different in the very exact same way" - then just go elsewhere because you will not find that here.
What is happening in France, and in the rest of the EU, is clearly a crackdown on free speech under the cover of a campaign for free speech. Those of us who are in Europe need to find the civil courage to simply say 'no' to fear, hate and stupidity. But even those of us who are not in Europe need to find the intellectual courage to reject the "One Single Correct Thought" which is imposed on us all and also reject fear, hate and stupidity.
As somebody who was born in Europe and spent most of his life there, but who has now lived a total of 17 years in the USA, I have to say that Americans are often far more capable of real pluralism then Europeans who often still are very ideological. For all its other faults, the US political system and culture did really uphold the right of free speech for everybody, not just the "good and correct ones". In contrast, European culture is still is ideological at its core and intellectual intolerance is still mostly the norm of the Old Continent.
I appeal to all my readers to show the intellectual courage to break the bonds of our society's narrow dogmatic discourse and to welcome the expression of truly different views and not the vapid, tepid and stupid pseudo-debate we are told forms the "democratic discourse" nowadays.