I wanted to further simplify my general impression of this schism in the left community about strategy for fighting the hateful right. Therefore I will be doing a simplified versions of the arguments for and against the removal of Alex Jones from Youtube, Spotify, and Facebook.
1. Private institutions have way too much power as it is and to condone this is to allow these entities to heavily censor the left in the future.
2. By censoring the right, it enables them to claim victimhood status and gives the corporations the green light to censor anybody the powerful don’t like.
3. Standing on principle, is not, condoning the disgusting views of Alex Jones and people like him. It is merely, not the correct strategy to try to censor them when it so often more heavily will destroy the left’s ability to get its message out.
4. This strategy will not effect Alex Jones and therefore it is likely to just make us look petty and hurt our future prospects
Arguments for Infowars removal
1. The free speech argument enables the right to evade responsibility for being hateful and causing real world violence and destruction of people’s lives. It is easy to stand on principle when you are not in any danger of being negatively effected by the right’s followers.
2. The powerful private organizations are indeed, in a very disturbingly powerful position, but standing on principle will not prevent these same groups from censoring the left. The real world consequences will not be altered by standing on principles.Structurally the right has a major advantage and there is no reason to give them more ammo.
3. Those who are constantly under attack cannot stand on principle like those who are not being hurt everyday. The fact that corporations use identity and class politics to divide and conquer doesn’t change the fact that we shouldn’t welcome moments in which powerful people are forced to eat crow.
1. Platforms are not equal and the ability to get your ideas out is more important that whether or not any platform has ideological diversity. The right has many platforms that are ideologically static and yet they demand that all platforms hear them out. I don’t hear Breitbart hiring any leftists or Marxists. Only the most prolific and large reaching platforms are expected to have both sides. And yet the more money you have the more platforms you can use to get your ideas out. The number of people who pay attention is only partially as important as how widely your ideas can travel to. If you cannot escape certain types of views, regardless of how good the ideas are, you have to listen. Alex Jones has an app, he has AM radio and he has lot of money. I do not have any of those things and yet I would argue my ideas are better but nobody gets mad at my inability to be heard across the country. I don’t feel bad for any millionaire who is deplatformed because he or she will never truly have to be silent. Money opens doors that most of us don’t have. The right rely on us to be principled in ways that they will only pay lip service to. They won this round of the culture war. Let’s beat them next time.
Thank you for reading and please listen to my podcast that will be linked below. Also please check out the books I linked as they are very interesting. Take care.