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Tyranny, Inc.

Tyranny, Inc.

What government wants to do but cannot, it can require corporations to do for it

If you’ve read the Parable of the Seasteader, you’ll already know that at sufficient scale the public/private distinction collapses — a private entity of sufficient size can have all the power of a public entity. It is certainly arguable that Facebook and Google have reached such size. Here, however, I want to discuss a different dilemma – government’s use of private entities to regulate freedoms it cannot directly abridge.

We’re going to look at one specific right (the right to free speech) and one specific set of Federal regulations (§ 1604.11) but the pattern I’m describing here has become ubiquitous in our country. Nowadays, almost anything government is forbidden to regulate, it can require corporations to regulate for it. The government has outsourced tyranny. Let’s see how this black magic is performed.

Expression of Viewpoints is Guaranteed to be Free from Government Abridgement, Even if the Viewpoints are Hateful…

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a remarkable provision that has, for centuries, protected Americans from the abridgment of their freedom of speech by their government. Even so-called “hate speech” is protected.

The relevant provision states that “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” As written, the guarantee of free speech originally applied only to the federal government. However, the Supreme Court ruled in Gitlow v. New York that the guarantee had been “incorporated” in the Fourteenth Amendment and the guarantee is now applied to all state and local governments as well.

Now, in practice, there are laws regulating speech (you cannot shout “fire” in a crowded theater, and so on), but such regulations are generally “time, place, and manner” restrictions. Our Courts have universally frowned on what is called viewpoint discrimination:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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