Yes, I wasted my time watching Professor Thomas Main and Karen discuss the rise of illiberalism for about an hour this weekend in the hope that these two would cover new ground.
The funniest thing about this is that I am more liberal by temperament than either of these two. I enjoy arguing with people. I have always liked seeing a clash of perspectives. I spend most of my time reading or watching people who I disagree with. I am notoriously light on comment moderation on my own website because my general preference is to let people say whatever is on their mind so long as they are making some kind of argument and don’t get too vulgar. I don’t support censorship which I see as weak. If I was running a social media platform like Twitter, I would allow socialists and communists to make their case in the public square even though neither of these groups tend to believe in free speech. We would ban pornography as obscenity, but we would protect political speech and debate.
Thomas Main is an illiberal authoritarian. He wants monopolies and gatekeepers to censor the internet. He appeals to authority figures to “do something” because ordinary people are sharing their opinions online. He is an intolerant bigot who can’t stand anyone who doesn’t agree with his own point of view. He feels far more threatened by people who disagree with his point of view than I do. Thomas Main and Karen are upset that too many people have their own platforms. This is a threat to “liberal democracy.”
Isn’t this ironic? The “illiberals” are far more comfortable with freewheeling debate while the “liberals” who style themselves as the defenders of “liberal democracy” don’t really believe in their own bullshit about freedom, equality, tolerance, democracy and so on, but instead beg elites to SHUT IT DOWN.