Sunday, April 08, 2012


People have variable thresholds for violence in response to the same provocation. We expect that young people in a civilized society can control their sexual conduct, even when confronted with the most explicit tease. We do not excuse larceny if the purloined object exceeded some minimum level of desirability such that the thief could not possibly help himself.

Free citizens are expected to seek redress for actual injuries, hurt feelings or damaged reputations in manners that do not include losing self control. A person has little claim to being free if he loses control of himself when provoked, since if he cannot control control himself, he will necessarily be controlled by others. If a person can be moved to violence by a base emotional appeal, he is merely a tool of the instigator and his liberty waxes and wanes with his emotions.

Free speech assumes, rightly in my opinion, that civilized men and women can control themselves, even if some idiot pushes their emotional buttons. People of ridiculously sensitive dispositions should not expect the state to protect them from name-calling.

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