Ever since Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to speak on campus, I’ve seen some of the people who are trying to keep students from bringing him using one argument over and over. It’s based on a cartoon that is floating around online that outlines Karl Popper’s theory, The Paradox of Tolerance.
The cartoon states that the First Amendment has a built-in paradox that allows for authoritarians to take control of government.
Essentially, if we are tolerant of the intolerant, they will pass laws that are intolerant, so we need to be intolerant of the intolerant in order to preserve tolerance.
Nazis are a useful and common example, because if we were to allow them to succeed in their platform, they would do evil things.
Now, Milo is no authoritarian and is certainly not a Nazi, but the campus left will never listen long enough to realize that. What needs to be addressed is the opposing argument’s claim that students are too stupid to think for themselves.
Most people reading this are likely familiar with the Darwin Awards, an online joke award given to people who accidentally die because of their own recklessness.
If we want to judge all of humanity by the unflattering cringe videos on the internet, it wouldn’t be shocking to have a low opinion of the people around us, or at least our ability to reason.
Sometimes when I see the way people drive in the parking structures, I fall victim to the same line of thinking, but it isn’t actually the truth.
Humans are the smartest creatures on Earth. This may seem like an obvious statement, but it needs to be said. It is evidenced in every step of our history; in our ability to master the world around us and our ability to build and create. Every one of us, to one degree or another, has this power within us.
One of the cool things about living in a constitutional democracy is instead of just using government authoritarianism to shut down the speech of people who I disagree with, even if I find their speech dangerous, I can do what was intended for this great, free country and organize voters who believe in liberty. And by not limiting freedom of speech, I’m ensuring that if people I don’t like are in power, I am able to organize against them. We have a constitution that places liberty as its cornerstone because of this.
I call upon readers to trust in the power of the reasoning of their peers. It is up to us to keep the peace and work toward making the world better instead of making it worse. Let’s make America great again!
President Emeritus, CSUF Republicans