The Clare Spark Blog

May 16, 2015

What is hate speech and where did the notion come from?

Demo after Gabrielle Gifford shooting

Demo after Gabrielle Gifford shooting

Google and Facebook are supposedly enlisting the public’s help in removing “racist” screeds from their websites, according to an article in The Times of Israel (http://www.timesofisrael.com/google-and-facebook-need-your-help-to-police-online-hate/.)

At first glance, this may seem like a good idea, but there is a latent subtext that I find disturbing, for there is no consensus regarding what constitutes “hate speech” but more, the notion harkens back to a discredited (social democratic-“liberal”) notion that Hitler prevailed because of his superior grasp of “propaganda.” (See https://clarespark.com/2009/06/04/modernity-and-mass-death/, especially the discussion of a conference at UCLA arguing that “propaganda kills.”

That notion was advanced by the Frankfurt School philosophers, the “critical theorists/cultural Marxists” in league with New Deal social psychologists who were appalled by the advent of mass media and the all-too-gullible mobs it aroused. What they left out was the history leading up to the victory of the Third Reich over its conservative nationalist opponents (initially in coalition with Nazis). “The People” were asses, as classicists had ever averred (see https://clarespark.com/2009/08/24/the-people-is-an-ass-or-a-herd/).

We must go back to Plato’s Phaedo to find a classical example of such nonsense, for according to Plato (a favorite of the liberal left), the “Body” was the site of illusions, particularly the passions that favored the senses that foolishly identified “the truth”, with speech. So ordinary people (including women and slaves—the lower orders) could not be trusted to lead the Republic, blabbermouths that they are, for as New Deal social psychologist Dr. Henry A. Murray insisted, the People are “not trained to rule.”

It was a hard, long slog to achieve such (arguably limited) free speech as we enjoy now. Beware of efforts to give too much weight to rhetoric over other socioeconomic institutional factors. What is needed is better, more widely disseminated history and political science, not more censorship.

Left-liberal propaganda poster

Left-liberal propaganda poster

November 29, 2010

Index to lobotomy blogs

Dr. Walter Freeman and patient

The History of Madness website has noted the research of Miriam Posner into Walter Freeman’s photos of his patients before and after lobotomy. Here is what already existed on the YDS website. [I found a website on lobotomies that claimed that Freeman had been killed by a “berserk” patient in 1955. This is not true: he died of cancer in 1976.]

https://clarespark.com/2009/11/07/disparities-between-image-and-text-some-cases-of-lobotomy/. (This image shows case 123 before and after lobotomy, along with Rockwell Kent illustration for Moby-Dick that erases the male-bonding and tattoos. I have seen the preliminary drawings for this text and it morphed from realism to primitivism. Kent obviously pulled back from insinuations of homosexuality.)

https://clarespark.com/2010/03/04/before-lobotomy-case-123/.

https://clarespark.com/2010/03/04/after-lobotomy-case-123/. (These illustrations from Freeman’s book are the single most shocking example of medical malpractice that I have found in my work on the history of medicine. Please read the before and after sequence together.)

https://clarespark.com/2009/11/16/when-lobotomies-cured-the-romantic-agony/. (Lobotomy was originally seen as a cure for anxiety and depression, but it also seemed from the pictures, and from Freeman’s book Psychosurgery, as a way to control rebellious females.)

https://clarespark.com/2009/11/16/nobody-is-perfect/.

https://clarespark.com/2010/09/27/cannibals-negro-jazz-and-servile-revolt/. This is about Tennessee Williams and the film Suddenly, Last Summer, with its terrifying mob scene, redolent of the French Revolution. Video clip of the movie included. Elizabeth Taylor’s character is threatened with lobotomy.

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