On Banning “Nazis” From Substack
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. - Mencken
I had no real intention of weighing in on this subject, as I trust that Substack will not give in to demands to censor people on the platform, and there’s no reason to engage with the people demanding that they do so because they are, in my opinion, entirely unimpressive. But I suppose it’s worth making my position entirely clear: I am for the freest possible speech to be permitted on this platform as is currently allowed by law, and possibly beyond in some cases. Any content that I find objectionable is easily ignored and, as an adult, I don’t need other people telling me what I should or shouldn’t look at.
To the people demanding that Substack conform to their neuroses, I’ll say this: We know what you’re doing. You don’t care about Nazis posting on Substack; you want everyone else to be concerned about Nazis posting on Substack, and then you want to be the ones who get to define what constitutes a Nazi. So, no, we’re not going to have this discussion. We’re not going to have a serious debate where we treat your assertions with any kind of merit, because your assertions are nothing more than a pretext for you to have control over yet another internet platform. Our right to say what we want or to read what we want isn’t subject to an “exchange of ideas” or to the number of signatures on an open-letter.
This is not to say that you can’t have your Substack communities of petty, would-be tyrants, because we who favor free speech aren’t afraid to share this platform with you. Just know that your attempts to control the rest of us and label us “Nazis” or “racists” or whatever nonsense you want to come up with this month isn’t going to be met with protestations of innocence, apologies, or philosophical debates. You’ll be met with the contempt that you deserve. If your feelings can’t handle that, then you know the way back to Meta.