by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Peter Burfeind expains in a Federalist column why the political Left never can support full-fledged free speech.
Commentators keep on pointing out examples of the Left’s antagonism toward free speech as if this were inconsistent with its first principles. It’s not. Leftism cannot be for free speech. Why? Because of what political philosopher Eric Voegelin recognized as the Gnostic character of its first principles.
Speech depends on the one-to-one correspondence between external realities and communicable concepts. Speech is reality’s witness and herald. What happens when you deny the fabric of external reality, as Gnosticism does? Or when, as leftism believes, objective reality is the projection of psychic and systemic forces by retrograde powers?
What happens is speech becomes an instrument of perversity, oppression, or illusion, and the only proper way to engage it is to reject it violently and put something else in its place. …
… Philosophically, Gnosticism sees speech as the tool by which demiurgic powers establish their corrupt systems, institutions, and social arrangements. We might think we’re just reflecting the binary reality of the sexes when we use the pronouns “he” or “she.” In reality, we’re stooges of that oppressive demiurge entrenching his tyranny, the sex binary.
All speech suffers the same judgment. It’s all about entrenching the existing power structures evolved over time through the distillation of human experience embodied in tradition. A white male cannot speak beyond the prison cell of his whiteness, maleness, and property ownership. Letters are fetters. His every word projects a cosmic architecture favorable to his own power quest. Language can only be his linguistic rape of those without power. All this, of course, he knows nothing about, because he’s un-woke.