The Unwieldy Clawed One
- Apr 23, 2007
- MBTI Type
- Instinctual Variant
I'm going to have to disagree with you there, with the possible exception of de-platforming, because it is easy for me to see how that could swing the other way. Generally I think the ability of media monopolies to shape popular opinion is disconcerting and seem to be rather effective at tamping down critical thought among those who rely on them. I remember them being quite effective at marshalling support for war in the past and they still seem to retain quite a bit of sway.
People like to say media moguls like Rupert Murdoch shape popular opinion but it not really the case. For example, here in England, News Corp's Sun newspaper actively supports the Conservative Party unless they think they are going to lose (in other words when Tony Blair was PM) while in Scotland supports the SNP. The Sun in Scotland was neutral in both EU and Scottish independence referendum while in England it was for Brexit and against Scottish independence. The same is true with the Irish Sun where it bigs up whenever it does a nationalist film or book review by calling it "heroic and revolutionary" while at the same time in the Scottish and English editions will call it a book or film about "murders and terrorists".
Even if Fox News does not have to fudge political position as it knows its viewer already expect it to be the voice of conservative America since very few people who are not already right-wing would bother tuning into Fox News. It is kind of patronizing to think it is brainwashing them since it is trying to represent the opinion of its viewers rather than shaping opinion. Media organizations are there to make money for the most part rather than shape popular opinion; hence, Rupert Murdoch doesn't really care about the average viewers' opinion politically as long as they keep turning in.
The USA has gone to war more than any country since WWII, has 800 military bases in more than 70 countries, and the biggest defense budget which is bigger than the next two highest-spending countries combined not because of media but because its citizens are hawkish and want that on the whole.
Safe spaces used to bother me, but I now think it is probably for the better if there are a set of community norms that foster inclusivity and encourage diverse perspectives. It tends to decrease assholish behavior of all sorts, from what I've witnessed. The issue, furthermore, isn't really between a safe space and freedom where people can say whatever they want, but a safe space including only one sort of person, and a safe space including many sorts of people. I've participated in a variety of internet of internet arenas over the years that were safe spaces but for white male types. Generally, there wasn't much in the way of toleration of opinions, attitudes, or modes of behavior outside of their own worldview. Being a bit of an asshole was generally ok, sincerity was frowned upon. What I've found is that a great deal of outrage about safe spaces is really people being indignant that they were now overwhelmed with younger newcomers who tended to think it might be a better environment if people didn't act like assholes as often. That's true on the internet, and I'm inclined to think it holds in real life as well. The concern isn't so much about a free marketplace of ideas being taken away, it's more about finding it less easy to assert a certain authority that was previously taken for granted.
As for self-censorship, I find far less of me engaging in that lately than I have at any point in the past. I would say that for a combination of personal reasons as well as shifts in the political climate, I feel more free to speak my mind than I ever have previously. I'm not sure where this idea of self-censorship is coming from, but I've heard someone else mention this too.
Safe spaces are not to "foster inclusivity and encourage diverse perspectives" but to do the reverse by creating echo chambers they just use emotion and sensibility as an excuse. Nobody with self-confidence in their belief and values should have a problem debating them.
Self-censorship is all the rage with political correctness and can have devasting consequences. For example, In Falcarius hometown there was a child grooming case that went "unnoticed" for a decade, despite the child protective services and police knowing full well what was happening simply because the perpetrators were not white, so the social workers and police were too scared of being accused of being racist.