Today, the online magazine spiked launched Free Speech Now!, a brand new campaign for ‘unfettered’ freedom of speech, with no ifs and no buts.
The editor of spiked, Brendan O’Neill, says:
‘”Every man should think what he likes and say what he thinks.” It is 350 years since Spinoza wrote those profound words. And yet every man (and woman) is still not at liberty to think what he or she likes, far less say it. It is for this reason that, today, spiked is kicking off a transatlantic online magazine and real-world campaign called Free Speech Now! – to put the case for unfettered freedom of thought and speech.’
‘Freedom of speech is in a bad way’, says O’Neill. ‘Ours is an age in which a pastor, in Sweden, can be sent to jail for preaching to his own flock in his own church that homosexuality is a sin. In which British football fans can be arrested for referring to themselves as Yids. In which those who too stingingly criticise the Islamic ritual slaughter of animals can be convicted of committing a hate crime.’
‘This new illiberalism commits the double offence of shutting up those who have something to say and shutting down the critical faculties of everyone else, discouraging debate in favour of promoting only those ideas that small groups of people have predetermined to be good, right, scientifically or politically correct, and safe for the little people to consume.’
The Free Speech Now! campaign is necessary challenge to this new illiberalism. Combining an online hub, providing free-speech lovers with the sharpest, most insightful articles, interviews and podcasts around, with plans for a series of live events in the US and Europe, Free Speech Now! will mount a vital defence of this most important of liberties.
‘We need a renewed commitment to the freedoms of thought and speech, and one which is consistent – which defends these freedoms not only for writers and the right-on, but also for so-called deniers, for the politically weird, for those who are offensive or outrageous. For it is only by having unfettered freedom of speech that we can guarantee an open and lively public sphere in which bad claims or ideas might be intellectually beaten, and the truth, arrived at.’
View Free Speech Now! here: http://www.spiked-online.com/