If you want a perfect example o’ what the Orwellian form o’ “freedom of speech”, — a concept whose vagueness makes it perfectly flexible for manipulation to only apply to one’s allies and not one’s enemies — the recent Stanford controversy where students protested an advertisement speaking event Stanford held for a conservative judge, — the only details for which are highly emotionally-charged & politically-charged “they said, she said, he said…” which are useless for any attempt @ an “unbiased” interpretation o’ what happened, beyond unquestionable proof that the judge himself acted unprofessional & insultingly toward the students, so, @ worse, ’twas some tit-for-tat energy — which, predictably, led the amazingly-interconnected rightwing media, so similar & generic they may as well be AI generated @ this point, to parrot the same whinging outrage, which also, predictably, led Stanford to bow down in obsequiousness, as self-defeating liberals always do, & forced all their students, e’en those not involved in the protest, to waste their time attending a freedom o’ speech lecture — a good lesson on how they’ve wasted their money on an institution whose inflated price is based purely on its superstitious aristocratic reputation, not genuine materialistic value, as this university is apparently so legally incompetent that they don’t realize that freedom o’ speech is a regulation on governments repressing speech, not ordinary students protesting a speaker @ a private event, none o’ which involves the government @ all, other than that a member o’ government is the speaker, the s’posed victim. I guess in Soviet America the 1st Amendment protects the government from having their speech suppressed by the dangerous people. Indeed, many conservative & “libertarian” — who show their true stripes by only defending the speech o’ a curséd government official gainst the speech o’ ordinary people when it’s conservative — commentators point out that this is a private institute as a rebuke gainst the left-wing defense o’ the right to protest, blatantly ignoring the fact that this should obviously nullify the judge’s right to speech just as much. You can tell when someone’s just simping for Trump’s remnant dynasty when they either don’t notice this obvious contradiction or deliberately ignore it & care mo’ ’bout the propaganda points spamming their outrage gives their team. & there’s a surprising lot o’ people doing so ( to be fair, this is probably ’cause most leftists are selfish & don’t want to dirty their dignity by getting involved in this political clickbait @ all & have been deliberately ignoring it ).
What’s most notable, tho, is the response o’ 2 conservative judges to this clownshow: threatening to “boycott” Stanford & not hire clerks from them. What’s interesting is that with all the whining ’bout the fake free-speech violation o’ the ordeal, there’s no protests ’bout this clear case o’ government officials threatening to punish a private institution for its ideological policies — a clear violation o’ the 1st amendment in terms o’ 1 o’ its main goals, preventing this clear attempt @ extortion to try & force this institute to employ policies that these judges want outside o’ law. ’Gain, I want to summarize American “freedom of speech” philosophy to those who haven’t gotten it yet: ordinary people who happen to be leftists don’t have the right to protest governments, but the government, who happens to be conservative, must have their speech protected from the people & have the right to use economic coercion to ensure that the poor government is protected from their unruly public. If these political leanings are reversed, ’course, the philosophy may differ. For instance, I saw no fretting ’bout any free-speech violations with MTG heckled Biden during his speech. ’Gain, this is probably ’cause leftists are too cool & have too much dignity to portray something so insignificant as anything beyond “rude” & conservatives obviously gain nothing by encouraging their own so-called principles to be used gainst them, so they, wisely, either ignored this or reinterpreted their philosophy so that now this case is now an ordinary ( government ) citizen protesting gainst the tyrannical president. Like I said, freedom o’ speech is very flexible & can shift & move depending on the circumstance ( &, mo’ importantly, how it benefits or hurts one’s political allegiance ).
I should add that the judges’ “boycott” is very bizarre: it apparently only includes future students, not current students, which would leave out the very students who protested the speaker in the 1st place. I guess these judges take the ol’ school rule o’ children suffering for the sins o’ their fathers all the way. He also described the protest as “intellectual terrorism”, which is proof that Republicans are mask-off fascists, ’cause that’s the most unironically cliché 1984 cringe bullshit e’er.
The implications o’ this whole ordeal, as well as conservatives’ general whining ’bout “woke” leftists & “cancel culture” are clear: conservatives deem expressions o’ left-wing opinions to be a threat to their free speech, & therefore they must be suppressed. That is the “lesson” conservatives wanted Stanford to take here: the only solution they considered acceptable was that the students who didn’t like what the conservative judge had to say should have just kept their mouths shut & let the conservative monopolize the podium, much as conservatives believe in general that the only acceptable solution isn’t any form o’ compromise, but for the left to bend the knee; & those disruptive anarchists who refused should be disciplined by the institute or that institute will face consequences — they, too, must bow down. This should not be surprising since keen ears will note that when conservatives complain ’bout s’posed free-speech violations, they emphasize their violent hatred o’ leftists far mo’ than any concern ’bout lofty principles. ( There’s also, ’course, the hypocrisy o’ simultaneously banning books in libraries & schools — which doesn’t seem quite so hypocritical when you take as a philosophical a priori that it’s only suppression o’ speech when leftists do it; otherwise it’s just maintaining baseline moral standards — those morals being whate’er rightwing authorities say they are ). When conservatives say they want “cancel culture” eradicated, that’s a dogwhistle for “leftist culture”. It is the left that must be eradicated.
This is how the 1st amendment could easily be interpreted by judges who choose to do so & how a pseudodemocratic country with freedom o’ speech could easily transform into a fascist nation with “freedom o’ speech”. In this scenario, government suppression o’ speech is twisted into preservation o’ ( conservatives’ only ) speech, as the ( leftist ) speech being suppressed isn’t really “speech”, but “disruption”, & we can’t have freedom o’ speech with disruption, so the disruptions must be quelled so the orderly ( conservative minority ) can trade unhinged conspiracies ’bout the invasion o’ the female bathrooms by undercover transcommies have civilized discussions.
Addendum: Judgment Day
Howe’er, I can’t leave it @ that, as I also have to talk ’bout the other hidden philosophical element that many haven’t talked ’bout, the growing divide ’tween the increasingly democratic left & conservatives who still cling to aristocratic “republicanism” — a vague term that has been attempting to reconcile the US’s aristocratic leaders with its democratic populace since its birth. A major controversy here ’mong not just the right wing, but also the “moderates”, is that these disruptive anarchists who listen to that hip-hop & have their pants sagging didn’t just act rudely to a conservative, they acted rudely to a judge. Traditionally, in American media, judges are held in the highest regard & insulting or e’en displeasing judges is grounds for “contempt”, a temporary form o’ weak imprisonment. Daytime television is full o’ shows where straight-talking judges who are ne’er wrong solve the problems o’ their dumb whitetrash & ghetto plaintiffs & defense. &, ’course, the “supreme” court is the highest level o’ law in the land, ’bove the president & legislature, able to nullify laws or actions or e’en invent new defacto laws with no veto power from the other branches, & are also appointed for life — which is to say, they’re dictators. Howe’er, judges have lost a lot o’ prestige in the last few years, thanks to Trump shitting up the court by filling it with particularly imbecilic cronies & unpopular rulings they’ve made ( sadly, not due to the inherent authoritarian nature o’ the US court system ). Since traditionally this obviously antidemocratic judicial system has always been defended on “technocratic” grounds ( & like all “technocracies”, the standards for merit are questionable & largely based on superstitious aristocratic traditions rather than anything resembling science ), this is a major crack in people taking the US’s political philosophy seriously. This has led to a conflict e’en ’mong liberals, ’tween the copium-huffing liberals who still cling to the US’s decaying system, holding the delusion that this s’posedly noble institution s’posedly corrupted by fascism can be salvaged, when it is in fact this institution’s inherent corruption that has helped fuel the rise o’ fascism in the 1st place, & those who actually support genuine democracy who believe in replacing the US’s aristocratic institution with… well, to be honest, like most people criticizing the status quo, what should be the replacement is varied from outright incomprehensible & self-contradictory ( no laws or government @ all, which could only be enforced by the defacto equivalent o’ laws or government ) or very vague ( no solution @ all, just protesting ), to theoretically possible, but unlikely to succeed & would have logistical issues actually making it work ( direct democracy ), to theoretically practical, but difficult to change or replace the law to the point o’ virtually requiring a minor psuedorevolution to carry it out ( elected judges with term limits & veto power o’er their rulings by a’least 75% o’ the legislature, if not just a majority / no judicial system @ all, just a legislature / probably plenty of other solutions I’m not thinking o’ ). As it turns out, trying to fix or e’en just improve a broken political systems, which are complex social mechanisms, specially in a country with 300 million people, is very hard, & unfortunately, ’cause so-called pragmatic moderate liberals still cling to childishly simplistic ideals o’ good & bad — albeit ideals so milquetoast & still so cynical that it makes one wonder what the point is — ( & mo’ importantly, still want to advocate for simple, violent solutions to the problem o’ broken politics in other countries, like China, rather than acknowledge the difficulty o’ improving those systems, as well ), rather than acknowledge that the US has a broken political system that ne’ertheless can’t just be fixed immediately by a sexy romantic revolution, they have to make up whate’er ’scuses they can — usually regurgitating traditionalist cant as if they haven’t been debunked by this point or haven’t become completely irrelevant in the 21st century — to present “their” political system as fundamentally good, just with a few flaws, as to believe otherwise would shatter their view o’ themselves & their role in their society. After all, the propaganda surrounding the American Revolution has embedded in Americans’ minds that idea that tyranny must be fought thru violent, sexy, romantic revolution, an idea that is convenient for war profiteers for gathering support to fund wars for “democracy” abroad. This is a great idea for the average milquetoast middle-class American when it involves other countries, like China, since they’re the ones who have to deal with the violence & disruption, but unacceptable if we include the US, since that would make those same liberals feel morally bound to violently revolt gainst the government ( which would also contradict their already contradictory moral tenet gainst “extremism”, — ’nother vague term that can be twisted into anything — since in their minds violent revolt in other countries isn’t extremism, nor was the original American Revolution ).
Judges have themselves, ’course, reacted to their fall in prestige not with humility, but in typical authoritarian fashion by those born & bred to believe that they have the divinely-given right to be worshiped, by lashing out @ the “mob” for daring to believe they, mere mortals, can be equal to their divine kings. This is what “intellectual terrorism” is: the threat o’ the mob gainst the aristocracy — or rather, the threat o’ democracy. This is specially ironic, given how corrupt the current supreme court is, with Clarence Thomas just recently getting into controversy for accepting undisclosed trips ( gifts ) from conservatives & his refusal to recusing himself from trying cases where his own wife has clear special interest1. Unsurprisingly, the court’s reaction to this obvious corruption isn’t shame, but the laziest o’ ’scuses — ¿& why not? They’re dictators — they don’t have to defend themselves with words so long as the military will dutifully do so with guns.
The real question isn’t why the courts act this way — it’s obviously in their interest to do so. The real question is why so many “liberals” would defend the “freedom o’ speech” o’ a member to this corrupt, unjust, undemocratic, unmeritocratic, authoritarian institution, who hardly lacks the means to have their voice heard, specially in the courtrooms they control with an iron grip, o’er the rare instances in which ordinary people can have their words heard.
1 That article, unsurprisingly, notes that the Supreme Court has “resisted establishing its own code of conduct”, ¿’cause why should supreme dictators deign to do so when e’erything they do is just by their own whim?