Today there was news that should’ve sent a chill through the heart of every so-called liberal. But as I’ve noted before on this blog, the thing about liberals is that they are not liberal. I mean they say all the right things, read the right books, listen to the right things, eat all the right food, but when push comes to shove, when a difficult decision has to be made, they take the easy route. Not that it should be a difficult decision when Twitter have permanently suspended Donald Trumps account and anyone who believes in free speech, as I imagine most liberals would claim to support the principle of, should be outraged by this.
But hey, its Donald Trump and we don’t like him. Don’t like what he says and we don’t much like the people who agree with him either. So we don’t care, in fact this should’ve happened long ago. He doesn’t conform to idea’s of what statesman-like behaviour is.
But the inherent paradox of free speech is that if you believe in it, it must apply to everyone. One can’t deny free speech to someone whose opinions disgust you. You have to defend their right to free speech with as much vigour as you would defend the right of someone you vehemently disagree with. Arguably more so.
And the fact that Twitter have decided to do this, interpreting their own rules with all the consistency of tomato soup, is even more chilling. Because whilst the usual assortment of ‘celebrities’, politicians, has been’s and never were’s have praised Twitter for their action, without being aware of the irony of them doing so on the very platform that Trump is banned from, they are not aware of the very steep slope they are standing on the edge of. Again, another paradox presents itself. If a corporation such as Twitter can ban someone permanently from using its product, doesn’t that mean they can ban anyone? Has that not dawned on these people, and anyone else who thinks it’s a good thing that Twitter have banned him. Are they so wrapped in their own self-righteousness, so focused on the transient appeal of virtue signaling, that they are blind to this inescapable fact?
I don’t like Donald Trump. But that doesn’t mean he should suffer a fate that I wouldn’t want.
Be that as it may, onto happier thoughts. When I was packing up my stuff and preparing to move house, often I would find myself going on a musical journey with Ryuichi Sakamoto. Here he is performing ‘Blu’ with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.