I think it was Winston Churchill who said “When fascism returns it will be in the guise of opposition to fascism”. This isn’t restricted merely to banning political parties from participation, as was the case with Vlaams Blok (I don’t think there is necessarily a libertarian position on that as long as they can freely associate and congregate but the right to political participation is the same for everyone: no right at all). Going further, many oppose the core value of free speech, justifying mob violence against people invited to speak on private property on the basis of having opinions so awful no one should be allowed to hear them. In Canada you cannot even speak out by declaring the enforcers of the thought-police to be “enemies of free-speech” or referring to “dissidents” “dragged to court”. (VERY LATE UPDATE: More from Volokh on that, including how the Canadian Supreme Court let that stuff pass)

America has historically had relatively free-er speech, with incidents like the Sedition Act (a specific case of which the Volokh gang discuss here) and the measures taken against opponents of the first world war being anomalous exceptions. Today under the Patriot Act we do have significant curtailing of free speech rights, but not of the thought-police sort but of the cover-our-ass sort. I dissagree with judge Andrew Napolitano on legal positivism vs natural rights and I don’t care much for the right to privacy but he is right that not being allowed to tell anyone about police searches, including lawyers that could take action against it, is obscene. Unfortunately we are a nation of sheep and will remain so. Fortunately, apathy also applies big time to the environment.

I’m probably going to be too busy to waste as much time on blogs as I have recently. Maybe in two weeks or so I’ll be back to normal. That means the white supremacists and anti-semites I’ve been arguing with here and here will have to wait patiently for discourse to resume, or take my silence as an admission of defeat (they are super-good at inferring hidden motives behind actions or lack thereof). Mencius and I couldn’t keep up our united judeo-conspiracy front and wound up arguing about Israel (mtraven seemed more on my side, so that’s 1 whole jew versus a half), and in lieu of making any more points I would instead like to link to the latest bloggingheads segment between Gershom Gorenberg in Israel and Khaled Dawoud of al Jazeera in New York. Pay attention to Gershom’s characterization of the mainstream position in Israeli politics, Mencius.