Atanu Dey On India's Development

Pat Condell on Free Speech–the Cornerstone of Our Civilization

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Pat Condell is a hero in the true sense of the word — a warrior known for his exceptional courage and bravery. But you would not have heroes if there were no cowards. He is a heroic defender of human freedom and therefore the cowardly attacks on him. He is being censored. Vimeo took his videos down. Now YouTube has done that to some of his videos.

However, the internet is what it is because of its distributed nature. The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it, as John Gilmore put it. So here is the incomparable Pat on dotsub.com thanking the anonymous cowards who are afraid of what Pat has to say and what they don’t want you to hear.

The last bit of what Pat says is worth repeating:

Your anonymous cowardice is truly the gift that keeps on giving because, in showing the world that you’re afraid of what I’m saying, you’re not only helping me (that would be wonderful enough on its own), you’re helping every person who tries to access a disabled website or a censored video by reminding us again forcefully how precious, how fragile, and yet how essential free speech really is in the face of such a poisonous spiteful illiberal mentality that no level of intelligence could possibly redeem. People like you with your censorious little minds and your narrow horizons do more than anyone to inspire those of us who believe that free speech is the very cornerstone of our civilization to guard it jealously, to defend it, and to insist upon it absolutely unfettered, undiluted, in full, without any form of compromise, no matter who claims to be offended, and never, ever to concede an inch. I thank you for that, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Peace.

This message should be understood by those in India who are in the business of censoring and banning. But that is not going to happen. It is like that old one: if need to ask the price, you probably cannot afford it. If they have to be told, it is unlikely that they will understand.

Let me end by stressing this: free speech is indeed the cornerstone — the basic element of the foundation — of our civilization. Free speech has been the engine that has powered our on-going march from savagery to civilization. (Pardon the mixed metaphors.)