You keep using that word “Progressive”…

You keep using that word “Progressive”… April 22, 2015

I do not think it means what you think it means:

“You absolutely cannot call yourself a progressive unless you actively work to criminalize all forms of un-progressive speech.”

There is something in Leftism that itches to criminalize ungoodthink. I greatly fear it.


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  • Dave G.

    I hope this is a joke. But I fear it isn’t.

  • SteveP

    Tanya does not seem to realize she, whenever she wishes, can exercise her capability to not be offended. She’s a good example of one who pursues not exercising her capability and becomes monstrous as a result.

  • Dan13

    I’m almost certain that was satire.

    I mean read this, “If anyone in Australia ever proposed that all laws against hate speech/vilification should be completely abolished, they would lose their job, they would lose all of their friends, and they would have to hire bodyguards.”

    It has to be a joke. Seriously? Hate speech is bad and if you appear like you want to tolerate hate speech (which we define) we are justified to use violent intimidation to ruin your life. How can that be serious?

    • Sue Korlan

      Ask Memories Pizza about how that works.

  • Evan

    1. In what alternate universe is Bill Maher a conservative?
    2. Russia is not a third world country.
    3. Provided this isn’t satire (it might be), I don’t think I’ve ever seen a self-identifying liberal arguing in favor of this level of fascist censorship.
    4. However, yes, I do know a couple liberals who wish to criminalize thought they find offensive.
    5. This sentence HAS to be satire: “Australia has also proposed legislation (the Human Rights and
    Anti-Discrimination Bill) which declares people automatically guilty of
    offending, insulting, humiliating, or intimidating minorities unless
    they can prove their innocence beyond any reasonable doubt.”
    6. On the other hand, I do know denying the Holocaust in Germany can get you imprisoned, and in college I knew a European student who thought jokes at the expense of minorities should be illegal.

    • Dan13

      @1 in the same universe where he is a Christian.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    It has to be satire. I can’t believe anyone is that crazy. http://thoughtcatalog.com/tanya-cohen/2015/04/its-time-to-put-an-end-to-anti-choice-speech/

  • Andrew Simons

    Mark, you left off the first two words of the sentence in your quote. The full quote is: In Australia, you absolutely cannot call yourself a progressive unless you actively work to criminalize all forms of un-progressive speech.

  • Pete the Greek

    Satire? I’m guessing probably.

    Sad part? A lot of us are HONESTLY not certain if it is satire or not. Not because we’re all stupid, but because we’ve heard some crazy like this spoken seriously before.

  • wlinden

    I am HOPING that this is not just a case of Poe’s Law, on the ground that “criminalize” is not generally used by people who are actually advocating criminalizing something. However, a search of the site reveals that she has posted a slew of these, and I have trouble believing they are ALL satire, on a site which does not identify itself as satirical.

    • wlinden

      And the Twitter feed for this “human rights activist” shows no sign of satire or even humor.

  • LSUStatman

    WAR IS PEACE

    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

  • Newp Ort

    This is satire. It’s good satire, because you have to read close to see that it’s so.
    But like all good satire, you need something to satirize. Just the fact that it’s so believable I think upholds your point Mark about leftists wanting to silence all dissent.

    On that topic of leftists silencing dissent, Mark have you been following the Hugo Awards and Puppygate mess that our good friend John C Wright has gotten swept up in? The poor guy’s being smeared. I think the worst of it is the liberal Hugo award people are saying he’s an undeserving nobody. John writes some really excellent Sci Fi, and I think he deserves accolades that are being overshadowed by this mess.

    • SteveP

      Scandalous satire in 1979 (The Life of Brian):
      .
      FRANCIS: Why are you always on about women, Stan?
      STAN: I want to be one.
      REG: What?
      STAN: I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me ‘Loretta’.
      REG: What?!
      LORETTA: It’s my right as a man.
      JUDITH: Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
      LORETTA: I want to have babies.
      REG: You want to have babies?!
      LORETTA: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.
      REG: But… you can’t have babies.
      .
      A human right in 2015.

      • Here, I’ve got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans’, but that he can have the right to have babies.

        • wlinden

          “It’s symbolic of our struggle against oppression!”
          “It’s symbolic of his struggle against reality!”

  • Paul Wilson

    No, the piece the quote came from is definitely not satire. This is the author’s twitter feed – same style of argument throughout. https://twitter.com/xTanyaCohenx/with_replies

    • Mike Petrik

      Not so fast. The twitter feed sounds like satire too. I think some conservative blogger or pundit is having great fun at the expense of progressives (and naive readers too). Look this “gal” up. She is not really associated with anyone. And no photos anywhere.

      • Mike Petrik

        I take that back, Paul. A little digging does suggest she might be a real South African person with a government job (of course) of some sort. I was fooled apparently. I honestly didn’t think anyone could be so stupid.

        • wlinden

          If she is South African, why does she go on about Australia?
          Did my grandfather fight the invaders for this?

  • The thing is, she’s correct in principle insofar as speech is naturally ordered to truth. But she’s presuming both the competence to determine absolutely what speech actually conveys truth, and the authority to enforce that judgment on others with finality.

    The entire reason for laws protecting “freedom of speech” (as well as freedom of conscience and freedom of religion) is that we mere fallen mortals are largely incompetent at determining the truth in a complete or absolute way, and are utterly untrustworthy when given the power to punish other mere fallen mortals.

    The laws must protect all of us, bad and good alike; if they do not, then they are not suited to this fallen world.

    • Sue Korlan

      You need to reread the second page, where the author opposed publishing the truth if the truth is offensive.

  • TheRealAaron

    For someone who wants to limit speech, that author certainly goes on and on…

  • Marthe Lépine

    There was a time, not so long ago, when so-called progressives were against each and every form of censorship…

    • Dave G.

      Ain’t it the truth. I remember when the word fascist was thrown out when a record store (remember those?) wouldn’t carry a heavy metal album. Or accusations of Big Brother when a family group protested Madonna. In college, a Sociology textbook we were assigned had a sidebar about censorship being more than just the Government, especially in a democratic nation. It used the famous ‘Beatles Boycott’ as an example, and insisted that was every bit the censorship that McCarthy ever hoped to accomplish. Long and short, liberalism was all about complete tolerance and being open to all opinions and viewpoints. Even though, in hindsight, it really wasn’t. But boy it sure sounded good.

      • wlinden

        Yep. Boycotting the Dixie Chicks was “censorship”, but now we are told that blacklisting Orson Scott Card can’t be censorship, because “only governments can censor”.

  • Some believe the article in question is satire. I’m not so sure. Check out other articles by the same writer. http://thoughtcatalog.com/tanya-cohen/

  • virago

    I read the article and I would really be shocked if it WASN’T a satire! Who puts Bill Maher and Bill O’Reilly in the same sentence? I wonder what they would think about this? They both are passionate and obnoxious but , hate speech?

  • virago

    Maybe I’ll do my “due diligence” and read some of her over articles.

  • Sue Korlan

    Ah, to live in civilized France which prevents the kind of publications that insult minorities or incites hatred. Charlie Hebdo, anyone.

  • antigon

    Mz Cohen makes excellent arguments, despite that her accompanying hate speech wherein they appear means she should be arrested posthaste & sent permanently up the river