Written by David Fisher
While Berkeley rabble-rousers have an ongoing existential fight with non-existent fascism, Americans are ignoring the lessons that should be learned from real cases of fascism. Fascism exists when freedoms erode enough to allow it.
The government of Pakistan has given us a glimpse into what it can look like in the 21st century, as it has issued the first ever death penalty for social media posting. The government has recently cracked down on blasphemous online activity and 30 year-old Taimoor Raza will be made the first example. The man will not receive any sort of due process, as the sentence was handed out swiftly from a counter-terrorism court.
Pakistani officials claim the counter-terrorism task-force had jurisdiction because he was spreading “hate speech.” His hate speech was derogatory remarks about Mohammed. Mr. Raza simply got into a Facebook debate with an undercover counter-terror analyst.
According to Reuters, blasphemy charges have been spiking recently and many are executed or imprisoned over weak claims of insulting Sunni sects, the government, or the Prophet. Everyone can agree that this is not what we want to see in our own country.
Because of real cases like this, western Antifa groups have an honorable mission; fascism cannot be tolerated. But the tactics used by far left groups who claim to be against it are similar in nature. Hate speech is free speech and must be protected because the term “hate speech” itself is completely subjective. If an ignorant bigot’s speech can be silenced, what happens when the bigot is in power? Trump voters felt that they were losing the culture war – and they were. But while they were losing bigly, was the left really winning? Ask any progressive and they will tell you no; there are rarely many winners in war. So who is winning the war of ideas?
Culture wars are fought between the people, while the government plays both sides to usurp more power. Subjects tend to try to empower the state to fight and win their small battles. But even if the social battle is won temporarily, the state hold onto more power indefinitely. That’s not ideal for anyone because government changes hands every other election and so do the keys to new powers.
Obergefell v Hodges was a huge victory for the gay community and should be celebrated as such, but the state is celebrating for other reasons. Because of the power grabs utilized in their victories, the left is now scrambling to change power before more Supreme Court seats are vacated. They celebrated giving the government unconstitutional power when it usurped the 10th Amendment, but now that same power will be in the hands of Trump-appointed judges. Instead of fighting culture wars and using the same old tactic of trying to employ the government against your foe, we must learn to make cultural peace and instead fight authoritarianism.
Freedom is never perfect because everyone’s perspective is different. No matter the personal views, we should always work with those whom we disagree to move the opposite direction Pakistan is traveling. Today, most still petition the government to fight their battles on their quest to find utopia. Sadly, utopia is just a billboard set up by the state on the road to serfdom.