Supersonic Man

January 12, 2020

the English accent is stupid

Filed under: fun,Rantation and Politicizing — Supersonic Man @ 9:01 pm

Americans generally respect the English accent. I assume attitudes are similar, if not more so, in Canada, Australia, and so on. (Maybe not so much in Ireland.) People think the English accent sounds classy and refined. But if you look into how the English “Received Pronunciation” accent came to be so different from those of the USA and Canada and Ireland, the reason turns out to be ridiculously lame.

Classy is the important word here. The difference arose precisely because people thought it sounded more classy and refined. Until about the year 1700, most people in England spoke quite similarly to those in Ireland or North America, pronouncing letters such as R and O as they were written instead of with peculiar distortions. But after that, throughout most of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as economic opportunity started to become accessible to commoners, those who were financially or socially ambitious did their best to emulate the manners and styles of the classes above their own, as a way to make a better first impression and be taken more seriously. And a very popular way to do so during this period was to attend a class in “elocution”. A whole industry sprang up of teachers and tutors who would train their students in how to talk in a way that sounded upper-class. And some of these teachers knew their job better than others. What they taught was often not so much a copy as an amateurish mockery of how their betters actually talked. But by the end of the eighteenth century these teachings were being incorporated into the standard school curriculum, and by the end of the nineteenth the aristocracy were following along with the changes to the common speech, imitating an imitation of themselves.

(Speaking of class, I once heard an astute observation that when an American is trying to face down a threat, and attempting to sound more intimidating than usual, you can tell what social class they belong to by whether they start talking more black in order to sound street-tough, or start talking more Brit in order to sound privileged. For 90% of us it’s the former, but in loftier social circles the latter is still regularly heard.)

But the really silly part is where the accent the elocutionists were copying really came from. The answer to this starts in the reign of Queen Anne. As mentioned in my previous post, Anne was the last of the Stuart dynasty. Anne got pregnant seventeen different times, but none of her children lived past age two. Her sister Mary II, who preceded her on the throne (co-ruling with her husband William of Orange), had one miscarriage and no live children. So when it came time to put Anne’s successor on the throne, they had to look a lot farther afield than usual to find the “rightful” next in line. And who they came up with was her second cousin Georg Ludwig, Elector of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg (commonly called Hanover after its capital city).

When King George I took the throne in 1714, he spoke no English. He never did bother to master the language over his thirteen year reign. His son George II did speak English, but since he learned it as an adult, he of course had a German accent, as did the twenty-three political staffers that his father had brought over, and their families and servants. Only when they got to George III in 1760 did Britain once again have a monarch who grew up speaking English, and he was hardly the best role model for it because of his poor mental health.

The English accent which was spread by professional elocutionists has its origin in courtiers and toadies imitating the German accent of the Hanovers. And it wasn’t entirely just the Hanovers: before their time, William of Orange had spoken with a thick Dutch accent, and afterwards, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha married Victoria and brought a supplemental dose of German accent to the royal family, just to remind people how it’s done.

This is why the English accent of today often pronounces the short A as in German, and muffles the letter R as a vowel tone though it’s still used as a consonant. This doesn’t really explain how the long O turned into a dipthong, but I put that down to the errors of amateur mimicry. It’s the sort of thing that’s easy to do when exaggerating someone else’s accent. (Or maybe it came from trying to say Ö.) No positive reason exists for pronouncing English words this way; compared to American or Irish English, the ease and clarity of speech is objectively poorer. Since getting established as a norm the accent has continued to evolve, going in its own direction without any more German input.

If you listen to the various regional accents from around the edges of England, most of them are less affected by this Germanization, which was strongest in the central urban areas. But if you want to hear how English is supposed to sound without the affectations of the eighteenth century’s professional ass-kissers, you need to go at least as far as Ireland, and to hear the most accurate version, the place to go is Appalachia.

Though Americans do generally think that today’s standard English accent sounds classy and refined, people conversely also recognize that falsely affecting this accent is often a hallmark of a pretentious classist snob. Little do they realize that this actually applies to the accent as a whole: it only came to exist because pretentious affectation was widespread at a time when classist snobbery was the norm.

December 20, 2019

capitalism, free enterprise, and entrepreneurship are three separate things

Filed under: Rantation and Politicizing,thoughtful handwaving — Supersonic Man @ 6:27 pm

Those who claim to speak for the positive value of capitalism, entrepreneurship, and free enterprise often try to convince you that the three are all one thing, and that the arguments in favor of one apply to all. This is not true.

One who practices capitalism may also be an entrepreneur who practices free enterprise, but this is not necessarily the case. A person might be a capitalist, entrepreneur, and free-enterpriser all at once, or any two of the three, or just one (or none).

Let’s start by looking at what, strictly, each term refers to. Then we can look at how the distinction becomes important to keep in mind.

Entrepreneurship is when people invest their personal capital, or capital financed by debt, into starting a new business, and then try to grow the business larger. The key factor is that growth and success depend on their own effort and skill in developing the business, rather than on just the capital that was invested.

Free enterprise is the absence of official and unofficial barriers to trade and business — a condition in which those who have an idea for trying a profitable venture can succeed or fail on the value of the idea, rather than be obstructed by some law, regulation, or privilege. (One gotcha is that when good productive ideas are liberated and empowered, you can also end up enabling opportunities for crooked scams.) The term “free enterprise” is loosely also used to refer to the practice of operating a business venture which depends on these conditions, rather than being dependent on, for instance, subsidies or protectionism. Of course, those whose businesses are dependent on an advantage of this sort often like to pretend otherwise, and co-opt the term even though it doesn’t apply to them.

Capitalism has a strict technical meaning: it is the practice of using wealth to increase the productivity of labor. Someone who buys a nailgun to replace a hammer, or a backhoe to replace day laborers with shovels, is engaging in capitalism. To clarify this, we must also point out that technically the terms capital and wealth do not refer to money, but to tangible assets such as land and equipment. Anything of value is wealth; anything durable which is used productively is capital. It is these physical assets which increase labor productivity, not the money that was spent on them. Assets which enhance productivity can also be less tangible, such as a copy of Photoshop or the contents of a reference manual. (Education and training also increase productivity but are difficult to characterize as capital.)

A main side effect of capitalism is that the more capital is invested in your job, the less you have a claim of ownership over your own productivity. If you can’t do similar production on your own with your own equipment, most of the value of your work will inevitably be claimed by your employer instead of by you.

Using capital to increase the productivity of labor is the classical meaning of capitalism. In modern society, capitalism has another meaning which grows out of this: because after one capitalist invests in productivity, he can then sell that set of productive resources to another for cash… in the end, what capitalism amounts to in places like Wall Street is the practice of using money to buy ownership of workers’ future productivity. Investors end up having no direct connection to, or even knowledge of, the physical capital which actually enables the business to produce; they deal only with money, yet they fill the role of a capitalist because they own these durable resources, and the organizations and systems that have been set up to put them to full use.

And this brings us to why the apologists for Wall Street capitalism want you to conflate what they do with free enterprise and entrepreneurship. Both of those things create wealth, and have a lot of positive value for society. Both are rightly defended against the sort of encroachment that can cause economic prosperity to be undermined. But capitalism as practiced by Wall Street does not create wealth, it only asserts control over wealth. Wealth creation depends on labor and skill, not on money… and especially not on money which is simply used for speculative trading rather than for adding productive capacity. Speculative trading does not count as true capitalism, but those who practice this parasitic means of making money would, of course, rather you did not draw that distinction.

One of the favorite activities of Wall Street capitalists is to wait for an entrepreneurial outfit to get into financial trouble, then use that trouble to buy up control of it at a bargain price. At this point, if the workers are lucky there might be some new investment in productivity, but more often the result is that productivity is sharply decreased, in order to turn durable assets — including intangible assets such as brand reputation — back into money. This kind of raiding is technically the opposite of capitalism, but those who practice it still want to be taken for practitioners of free enterprise and entrepreneurship, because a more honest look at their livelihoods is so much less flattering.

Investment banker types conflate capitalism with entrepreneurship so that they can call themselves “job creators”, even though as a class they often destroy more jobs than they create. And they conflate capitalism with free enterprise so that the social need to liberate creativity and productivity can be misconstrued as an excuse to give free rein to parasites and predators.

If we as a society want to encourage the benefits of capitalism, we should draw a clear line between true investment (which raises production), and activities such as speculative trading and raiding, which do nothing to create new wealth or benefit the overall economy. Our policies should encourage the former but not the latter.

September 16, 2019

The right wing is not driven by ideology

Filed under: Rantation and Politicizing,thoughtful handwaving,Uncategorized — Supersonic Man @ 8:41 am

If you go by what you see in the media, American conservatism appears very ideological. Its spokespeople and pundits do a solid job of stating principles, avowing beliefs, reasoning from claimed axioms, and otherwise behaving as if they are believers in ideologies. While leftists generally present their ideas as being based on human values rather than dogmas — values such as compassion, fairness, decency, or just simple pragmatism — spokespeople of the right proudly wave various banners of dogma in which they assert we must have faith.

And this confuses their opponents, because the ideology being avowed keeps shifting whenever it’s convenient for a given debate. Also, among the multiple belief systems that conservatives commonly argue from are some which are completely incompatible with each other. For instance, one popular belief system among conservatives is a form of free-market capitalism which teaches that greed is beneficial. But another popular one is the belief that the sole path to salvation is through Jesus Christ, whose teachings harshly denounce greed and the pursuit of wealth.

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January 29, 2019

how it works

Filed under: Rantation and Politicizing,science! — Supersonic Man @ 1:19 pm

Step 1. The water in the northern Pacific Ocean reaches excessively warm temperatures, peaking in La Niña years.

2. This creates a high pressure zone as the warming air above it tries to expand.

3. As it rises, the expanding air pushes back against the jet stream.

4. Because of the coriolis forces that make storms rotate, this high pressure air starts turning clockwise as it spreads outward. This deflects the jet stream to the north.

5. As a result, clouds that would normally bring rain to California also turn north. They get pushed up toward the arctic circle, bringing heat up to polar latitudes.

6. The jet stream and storms strike the polar vortex, distorting it. It deflects them south again, now chilled.

7. The winds and moisture which were supposed to water California crops now dump excessive cold snow across the Great Lakes and down the east coast.

8. Politicians bring snowballs into the Capitol building and deny global warming, at the same time that large parts of Alaska have no snow.

November 6, 2018

ads

Filed under: Hobbyism and Nerdry,life,Rantation and Politicizing — Supersonic Man @ 10:38 pm

Dang it, when writing this blog, I rarely see how bad the ads are when someone else is reading it. I just got a reminder. I’ve never liked this platform much, and now I’m thinking I should move this content elsewhere. Which would be a pain.

[Later update] And now some of the platform’s other problems, which for a while had seemed to be gradually improving, are getting worse again… the hamhanded destruction of careful formatting and layout, the shitty app which can’t even keep up with one-finger typing on longer posts, the utter failure to connect with a wider audience compared to either social media or my ancient personal website… I need an alternative.

All I ask of a blog platform is, just let me write. And don’t fuck it up after I do. This one fails to meet that requirement. Why can’t the market leader do this simple job as well as LiveJounal did fifteen or twenty years ago?

Time to take a look at Medium, and blogger.com if that’s still a thing. The only reason I ever used this was because other people I knew did, but the social interconnection value coming from that has been negligible.

…Hey, it turns out they both support exporting content through json, which would enable embedding it in my own site with my own styling.

November 1, 2018

the most charitable interpretation of fascism

Filed under: Rantation and Politicizing,thoughtful handwaving — Supersonic Man @ 10:22 am

Although in any right-wing nationalist movement you will find plenty of people who are virulent racists, sexists, xenophobes, and other deplorable types, I don’t think this kind of hate and evil explains the broad popularity that such movements often develop among ordinary people. I don’t think they’re driven by hate as an end in itself. Instead, they develop toward supporting hate because of more practical motives.

From what I see, the average working-class Joe who signs onto a nationalistic agenda does not hate immigrants and/or minorities, though he does resent immigrants or minorities. The difference is that he’s not being hostile to them simply because of their ethnicity or origin, but because of what he perceives them to be doing once they come into his neighborhood or his nation — namely, acquiring wealth and resources, getting jobs, consuming goods, occupying space. He resents them not for existing, but for getting something that he wants for himself.

The predominant scare stories told about immigrants and minorities are not about how they look different, speak oddly, or worship wrongly, but about how they get good jobs or receive benefits at taxpayer expense. This is what upsets most anti-immigrant nationalists: not that newcomers to the country are odd and foreign, but that they are either getting governmental handouts or “taking our jobs”. The resentment is based on a belief that if they have more, he will have less.

This is why fascism flourishes in tough times, when workers are doing poorly. The fear that he will have less if someone else gets more seems to have already come true — he does have less, which means someone else must have gotten more. If a faraway ruling class gets more, he may not see any noticeable difference in their condition, or if he does, he probably feels there’s probably very little he can do about that, or that it’s only natural or inevitable… but if someone who is competing at his own level is getting more, well then, that’s a fight which he has a good chance to win. It looks like an opportunity, whereas taking on the boss does not.

The aforementioned ruling class is very aware of this. Like the old story says, a big boss, a blue collar worker, and a poor immigrant walk up to a plate of cookies. There are one hundred cookies there. The boss immediately takes ninety-eight of them, then he turns to the worker and says “Keep an eye on that immigrant — he wants to take your cookie.”

When workers had unions, they were a lot more confident that they could take on the real competition — the guys who actually were getting all the money they were not. Without unions, there’s a much deeper sense of helplessness, so it’s only natural that many people will look downward rather than upward when seeking someone to take on in a fight for a better share. And without unions, of course, semiskilled workers are a lot worse off financially than they used to be. As a group, they are being systematically ground down toward poverty. The worse things get, the less they are ready to act as a team and the more desperately some of them will turn on each other to try to grab a piece of what’s left.

The crooked narratives of fascism are never just about how those scapegoated people, whoever they happen to be in any given instance, are different or inferior. They are about how those people, by living in your neighborhood, are taking something away from you — a job, a handout, a government service, or even just the seat you wanted to get when you go out for some entertainment. The unstated presumption of fascist ideology is that the social and economic benefits of living in a society are a limited resource, and that getting the social support you deserve as a member of that society is a zero-sum game, in which gains for them are losses for you. Therefore you should try to preserve as big a share as possible for your own friends and family and neighbors — the people who constitute your true community — rather than for people who are part of the same larger society but don’t quite feel like friends or neighbors yet.

Fascism is founded on convincing people that the benefits of being a member of society are scarce, to the point where there is not enough for everyone. They can’t be shared freely, because there’s only enough for those with a strong social claim — the native majority — and the rest will have to do without, or everyone will be poor. This claim of scarcity is believable during hard times when everyone is suffering, or during times when working people are impoverished by greed. When scarcity is a concrete fact of life, it’s easy to believe that there isn’t enough to go around.

Hardcore racists and similar deplorables are only, as far as I can tell, somewhere between a tenth and a twentieth of the populace. But willingness to believe in these narratives of scarcity can easily spread to a far larger portion of the citizenry. If the deplorables want to indoctrinate people with racist hatred, they will piggyback their assertions that certain people are evil or inferior on top of these scare stories about scarcity.

In the end, the reason we are seeing a rise of enthusiasm for fascism is because we have allowed so much concentration of wealth. It’s the reason a wannabe fascist like Trump is able to get votes, and it’s also the reason he was able to steal the party from the establishment Republicans, as their habit of transferring huge amounts of wealth from workers to owners had gone on for so long that the cover of lies they kept over it was wearing too thin to maintain. Fresh new lies were needed, for the party to fool anyone. Of course, by signing yet another tax cut for the rich, Trump ended up settling right back into the old lies, which means that his appeal to the working class is now tarnished. We can only hope that this obvious sell-out helps diminish the appeal of fascism in general.

The core appeal of fascism is “less for them means more for us”. The lie of fascism is in persuading people that they are going to be in the “us” category, when that group will usually include only those who become part of the power structure. Racism and nativism and other bigotries are the means of selling ordinary powerless citizens the illusion that they are members of the “us” group. And lack of economic opportunity is what justifies the desire to take from some to benefit others.

You can’t expose the fascist lie with logic and evidence; those who swallow it are usually capable of baffling levels of doublethink, and will happily embrace or make up alternative facts to discredit the evidence of their eyes and ears, because to be dissuaded of the lie would mean losing a source of hope. Some of them even cheer for lies they recognize as such — they admire the act of lying, and see themselves as a partner who will benefit from the lie, rather than as a target of it. Others simply can’t see any contradiction.

The effective way to undermine fascist tendencies is to improve economic opportunity for all.

August 3, 2018

ethnicity of presidential names

Filed under: Hobbyism and Nerdry,Rantation and Politicizing — Supersonic Man @ 3:24 pm

For a country which is built on immigration and (usually) welcomes exceptional ethnic diversity, the United States of America has tended to be very narrow about what sort of ethnicity it looks for when electing a President, even beyond the fact that all but one of our presidents are white males.  For most of its history, America chose people whose last names originated either in the British Isles or in Holland, or failing that, had been well assimilated into a British-sounding form.  The first president to break that pattern was Dwight Eisenhower, and Barack Obama was only the second.  Even within that group, names from England were heavily favored over those from neighboring countries.

There have been 44 presidents, with 39 distinct last names.  (If you think there were 45, you counted Grover Cleveland twice.)  The high number of repeats counts as a statistical anomaly in itself.  Let’s tote up their ethnicities:

ENGLISH:  Washington, Adams (2), Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, Harrison (2), Tyler, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, Lincoln, Johnson (2), Grant (could be Scottish), Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Truman, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Bush (2), Clinton.  That’s 26 names — two thirds of the total.

SCOTTISH:  Monroe, Polk, Buchanan (Scots-Irish), McKinley (Scots-Irish).

IRISH:  Hayes (anglicized), Kennedy, Reagan.

DUTCH:  Van Buren, Roosevelt (2).

GERMAN:  Hoover (anglicized), Eisenhower, Trump (anglicized).

KENYAN:  Obama.

Some other statistical biases we notice by looking at the list of presidents: most are taller than average, and very few regularly wore eyeglasses (just Bush the elder, Truman, and Teddy Roosevelt when he wasn’t avoiding them purely for vanity).  And as has been noted elsewhere, nowadays it seems like about half of presidents are southpaws.  In fact, we recently had three in a row: Reagan, Bush the elder, and Clinton were all left-handed.  So were Hoover, Truman, Ford, and Obama; that brings the total since 1929 up to 7 out of 15.  But before then, only a single leftie is known: James Garfield.

But the most important statistical anomaly may be the frequency and clustering of cases where the electoral college managed to reverse the outcome of the popular vote.  It has now happened four times (not counting the four-way election of 1824, which was decided by the House of Representatives): 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016.  In all four cases a Democrat convinced more voters but a Republican won the electoral vote.

In the first case the result was the end of Reconstruction and the start of the Jim Crow era in the south (a price demanded by southern Democrats in exchange for conceding).  In the third case it was the invasion of Iraq, and arguably the September 11th attack preceding it.  In the fourth case it’s been a nationwide revival of nativism and fascism, with additional horrors no doubt to come.  The second case, though, turned out well: Benjamin Harrison admitted new western states, created national forests, modernized the Navy, passed the Sherman antitrust act, fought for education and voting rights for minorities, and raised a budget surplus.  Oddly, it was the latter point which led his party to defeat in the following elections: raising and spending a lot of money was unpopular, even though the means by which the new revenue was raised, namely protectionist tariffs which were denounced by his opponent, was exactly what had convinced people to vote for Harrison in the first place.

April 10, 2018

What do Nazis have in common with pickup artists?

Filed under: Rantation and Politicizing,thoughtful handwaving — Supersonic Man @ 11:11 pm

When the Nazis came to Charlottesville, one thing I noticed in the news coverage was that some of them were using the jargon of the “red pill” movement — a jargon which originated in the world of pickup artists. How did that happen? I decided to look into the connections, and learn a bit more about the hidden history of these new reactionary movements. I ended up learning more than I wanted to know about today’s young racists. Here’s what I’ve managed to put together. Surprisingly, a key figure linking the two groups is professional troll Milo Yiannopoulos — not someone I ever thought would do anything consequential.

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August 20, 2017

“Everyone is a little bit racist.”

Filed under: Rantation and Politicizing,thoughtful handwaving — Supersonic Man @ 3:19 pm

You may have heard that quote. I am quoting it because I believe it’s true.  There is no dividing people into two groups, one racist and one not.  It’s a spectrum, and what matters is not what feelings or assumptions you start with, but what behavior you end with.  Let’s look at some sample points on this spectrum — some levels of racism:

Level 0: innocent.  This is where small children start out — unaware that race is a problem.  Maybe it’s possible to maintain this into adulthood in circumstances of major social isolation, but I don’t think I’ve ever personally seen an example of that.

Level 1: responsible.  We are all liable to sometimes forming snap judgments based on first impressions, and race is often a factor that plays into this.  But we can compensate for this by taking a moment for a second thought, to double-check our initial thoughtless reaction and make sure we’re being fair-minded.  This may not sound very impressive, but for most adults, this is about the best you can expect.  People in this category may be “allies” of minorities, or not.  Some may have come a long way in overcoming bad ideas from their upbringing, while others have had no need to.

Level 2: in denial.  This is probably where the majority of people fit, on most days.  This is where you land if you react to prejudicial snap judgments by rationalizing them instead of reconsidering.  Frequently accompanied by the idea that racism is largely historical, or confined to a few extremists — that it’s a distant external problem.  Racism at this level isn’t going to burn crosses, but it can produce frequent calls to the police about “suspicious” characters, or some extra strictness from the police themselves.  This mild racism can be enough to make a big difference in how difficult it is for some people to land a job or rent a place to live.  So even though the acts committed by any one individual seem minor and excusable, they can add up to a large negative impact on the lives of minority citizens.

Level 3: asshole.  This level is for people who sometimes show active racist behaviors, such as taunts and trolling and harrassment with racial epithets.  Generally these are people who are habitually unpleasant or obnoxious in other ways as well, or who have long lists of people whose lives they disapprove of.  Most often, such people are still in vigorous denial about racism, despite having numerous examples readily visible in the mirror.

Level 4: deplorable.  Finally, we come to those who have adopted racism as a guiding philosophy, and who actively evangelize it as an ideology: the Nazis, Klansmen, Neo-Confederates, and other racial separatists.  Many are fanatical True Believers, and as such, are capable of horrific violence for their cause.

Again, the point is not that people are divided into groups, who fit one label or another.  Any one person can and does slide up and down this scale, plus or minus a space over the course of a day, or larger shifts over months or years as they are exposed to different ideas.

And note that one’s position on this scale may have very little to do with the intensity or severity of their prejudices, particularly in the middle part of the scale.  Some can have major race-based fears and handle them well, and others might have minor ones but handle them badly.

The most important factor for affecting how a person moves forward or backward in their behavior is probably the social expectations of the people around them.

But don’t take this to mean that the way to make someone act better is by lecturing them.  If you really want to bring someone to see another point of view, it’s important to listen to them more than you talk to them, and let them express the feelings or anxieties or bad experiences they may be carrying on the subject.  And when you do speak, you want to be offering them an option, rather than making a demand.

Because when social pressure comes in a hostile form, it’ll probably have the opposite of the desired effect.  If you do listen to people at level 2 or 3 talk about race, one thing that often comes up is how much they dislike and resent hearing the word “racism” brought up as a belligerent finger-pointing accusation.

I don’t personally know who’s doing this kind of accusing, but some of my friends see it happen, and they affirm that yeah, it ain’t helping.  Maybe that behavior arises from having one foot in the responsible level and the other in the denial level, so you want to project and externalize the problem.  That’s just my guess, I can’t say.

As for the level 4 deplorables, I don’t think there’s much point in listening to them or engaging with them.  They’ve created a fantasy world where they believe each other’s made-up stories, so that’s all you’re likely to hear from them.  They’ve embraced evil, and there aren’t really very many of them, so socially, we can just write them off.  If you’re trying to bring back someone important to you, I wish you the best, but for the rest of them, I think the best form of communication would probably be for them to be hit in the face by Captain America’s shield.

August 15, 2017

Nazi free speech

Filed under: Rantation and Politicizing — Supersonic Man @ 1:17 pm

The nazis among us like to complain that we’re stifling their right of free speech. Here’s a reminder about some forms of speech which, by court precedent, are not and never have been protected by the First Amendment — types of speech which nobody has a right to make:

1. Fraud, false advertising, con artistry, and other forms of deceitful promise for personal gain.

2. Libel, slander, and defamation. This includes not only attempts to untruthfully damage reputations, but also taunts intended to provoke a violent response — “fighting words”.

3. Threats, intimidation, attempts to create panic (e.g. “fire!” in a crowded theater), or other means of trying to coerce people through fear.

4. Incitement of others to carry out violent or criminal acts. And particularly, sedition: advocacy of overthrowing the government by force.

The courts may, for many of these categories, require strict or narrow conditions before ruling them to be unprotected and criminal forms of speech, but the point is that you do not have a right to deceive, a right to slander, a right to threaten, or a right to advocate violence.

If nazis and other racial supremacists think they have a right to advocate their point of view like the rest of us, well, let’s see if they can actually do so without committing any slander, making any threats, inciting any violence or insurrection, or making any fraudulent promises. Since their actual program for society involves defaming large groups of people, using lots of violence and threats of violence, and overthrowing at least some parts of the Constitution, for them to advocate it without mentioning these would have to be fraudulent.

Nazi speech is sometimes suppressed, but if they think their rights of free speech are being violated, they’re wrong. They never had any right to this form of speech.

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