A Few Impertinent Questions about Hate Speech

One of the things French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed for strengthening of the European Union’s governance—the EU’s Government—is

enhanced protection against hate speech

In particular, in his op-ed For European renewal [emphasis Macron’s]

creating a European Agency for the Protection of Democracies, which will provide each Member State with European experts…European rules banish all incitements to hate and violence from the Internet

This is to be done under the guise of

respect for the individual is the bedrock of our civilisation of dignity.

My questions aren’t specific to Macron, though, or to the EU—they’re general in their application.

How is it respect for the individual that Government tells him he’s too mind-numblingly stupid to decide for himself to what speech he should attend and what speech he should ignore, to what speech he should provide answer—and how? To tell him he’s too cowardly to respond coherently and that Government must…protect…him?

How long will it be, do you think, before Government decides that speech that counters hate speech—Louis Brandeis’ instruction—is itself hate speech, thereby allowing the original to stand unchallenged?

When will we recognize that Government’s enforced silence is not, cannot be, the answer to “hate speech?”

When will we recognize that the enforced silence of Macron’s proposal is itself hate speech?

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