Because That’s Classism: Leftist Freedom of Speech

Geoffrey Thierry via flickr // CC

The left wing has been continuously been getting caught in semantic traps, which it actually set itself. Equality and political correctness seem to run around in a vicious circle. Meanwhile, freedom of speech and civil liberties fall victim to this endless struggle.

When the new wave of the left wing has entered the Polish parliament last autumn, various interesting phenomena have emerged. Some of them are positive, other negative. But since, according to all existing research, people are most attracted by negative information, let’s focus on that side of the problem.

For example, in the face of these newly elected, spirited, equality-oriented people (but also when compared to the currently ruling class), the former leader of the Democratic Left Alliance party, Leszek Miller, may appear today as a moderate free marketer.

The newly observed phenomena include, among others, attempts at censorship by the left of other participants of social and political life. This may be clearly seen on social media. The word “classism” is trending.

Leftist censorship is manifested in the fact that represenatives of these movements strongly criticize those who refer to things such as one’s pedigree, education, and other aspects that people have no influence over.

Such criticism is faced, for instance, by those who mention the pedigree of Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, the opposition’s presidential candidate. Bringing up the illustrious relatives from one’s past is, after all, sheer snobbery. Another thing is that the legacy should not really matter.

The great outrage on the left side of the political spectrum was also visible when the PiS’ spokesman, Radoslaw Fogl, was criticized for him reprimanding constitutionalists and law professors with decades of experience, while he himself completed only secondary education.

Therefore, on no account should anyone call others out on their achievements, or lack thereof, their education, or other related matters, because it’s mere “classism”.

Recently, I met with my former lecturer, a professor whom today I have the pleasure to call my good friend. I told him that what I remembered best from his lectures was when he mentioned the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

ACLU became deeply divided and lost some of its members because it defended granting the right to speak in a debate some neo-Nazis, not because it agreed with them, but because it believed their right to freedom of speech to be the very foundation of civil liberties.

However, giving the voice to some groups may become a dangerous precedent and serve as the beginning of restricting the freedoms of others.

What a wonderful show of idealism and uncompromising fight for civil rights! The organization’s motto is, after all, “Because freedom cannot defend itself”. This example clearly shows how far the new left has moved away from such an understanding of the concept of freedom.

The article was originally published in English at:

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Przemyslaw Staciwa