Doesn't know his onions - Public Domain

That’s what Owen Jones seems to be calling for here, censorship of the entire national conversation. Essentially, people he doesn’t like shouldn’t get on the TV or radio. And we already know that Twitter and Facebook are being urged to ban all “extremism,” the definition of which is stuff people don’t like.

What a gloriously liberal order they’re trying to build, eh?

“But all ideas must be freely debated!” goes the glib liberal response. So let this be put bluntly. The far right is not a legitimate political perspective. Bigotry is not a legitimate political perspective. These are irrational forms of hatred that categorise certain human beings as inferior and as dangerous based on their race or religious creed. By providing the far right with a platform, you instantly provide them with legitimacy and respectability. Their hatred simply becomes just another political belief, like whether we should nationalise the railways or cut taxes on the rich. They become “that bloke off the telly”.

To define what is a “legitimate” political belief is indeed to censor. Various places have tried it too. Varied fascist states said that anything other than national control of the economy was not a legitimate belief. And banned, poured castor oil down the throats of, those who advocated otherwise. Various other states, at about the same time, insisted that anything other than proletarian control of the economy – led by the revolutionary vanguard – was an illegitimate belief and shot anyone who disagreed.

Note that this is nothing at all about the beliefs themselves, it’s about the existence of that pre-filter. That determination of what is legitimate or not.

I’m not exactly noted for my support of the British National Party – neither their socialist economics nor their Nordic race ludicrosity appeal – but Nick Griffin did have a point about northern girls being gang raped, didn’t he?

It’s not though just that Owen Jones wishes to ban from the airwaves things and subjects and people he doesn’t like. The real reason is implicit here:

The British media are not going to defeat the far right. They will continue to give a platform to them and legitimise their leading figures. The press, in particular, will keep feeding them by spreading hatred and lies about Muslims, migrants and refugees. The far right will not be debated out of existence. It will be defeated, not by the media’s clever bastards, but by a left that offers hope and combats racism and bigotry without apology.

That Corbynite free lollipops for everyone promise is in direct competition for the support of exactly those same people that “far right” is chasing with stories of Heimat. The white British working class, exactly the group in play as an electoral base at present.

Owen Jones just wants to ban the competition. How liberal of him, eh?

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Spike
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Embedded within Owen’s long chain of reasoning, leading to his call for censorship, is the assertion that opposition to free loot can only be based in superficial, class-based hatred of the recipients. And only one in a hundred will analyze the entire chain and understand that this fallacy destroys the whole thing. “A left that offers hope and combats racism and bigotry without apology” is a left dependent on name-calling.

But even without this weakness, there is no “reasoning” so powerful as to make the case that other opinions must not be heard.

john77
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john77

The British media are not going to defeat the far right because they are the biggest recruiters for the far right: thanks to their obvious bias to the centre-left and their condoning of the very nasty far-left alongside the very nasty lefty so-called intellectuals like Owen Jones. When I was young (slightly more recent than the stone age) there were decent working-class Labour voters who just wanted what they saw as a fair share for the working-class generally (not themselves personally) – now we have middle-class lefties whose main aim is to rax theworkers to boost the incomes of those… Read more »