Monday, March 06, 2006

Respect for dissent

Why is Orwell such a constant touchstone in political debate? Is it just cheap rhetoric, a way of avoiding a real criticism?

I think not. I think Orwell captured some essential truths about totalitarianism and the totalitarian mind. Whether it's the Stalinist extreme on the left or the fascist extreme on the right, he captured the way that the 20th century turned language into a minefield, and the way that extremism could be masked

Let's roll the videotape.

At Uncommon Descent, Bill Dembski's home on the web, DaveScot says:
We need to purge the nation’s university faculties.
A commenter came here from Revka's place to ask:
who says that children should have an opinion?
And Ed Brayton catches Robert Bork proving Ted Kennedy right. Bork writes:
Liberty in America can be enhanced by reinstating, legislatively, restraints upon the direction of our culture and morality. Censorship as an enhancement of liberty may seem paradoxical. Yet it should be obvious, to all but dogmatic First Amendment absolutists, that people forced to live in an increasingly brutalized culture are, in a very real sense, not wholly free.
Match that up with yesterday's bit of instapunditry:
The press had better hope we win this war, because if we don't, a lot of people will blame the media
And we've got a theme. All speech is free, but some is freer than others. Orwell would be proud of the modern right.