“Don’t you dare let that happen again.”
My mother’s words were severe, fierce, even harsh as she instructed me.
“Don’t you dare let anyone, ever, tell you what you can or cannot read. And never let anyone tell you what you are, or aren’t, allowed to think.”
I was eight years old. I arrived home from school that day to complain that the reading teacher had spotted me absorbed in a book by the brilliant writer John Irving, and told me that I was too young to be reading it. That I was to put it away. And that my mother was to call her the next day.
“Nor do you ever let anyone silence you when you have truth to speak.” Her voice shook with anger, one of the few times I saw her utterly livid.
She didn’t call the school. She went there the next day, in the absolute height of fury, and it must have been a lovely and mesmerizing sight.
She never had to tell me a second time, and that teacher never spoke to me again.
Free speech matters.
Education and information matter.
And your conscience, that with which you interpret and combine them, matters most of all.
These things are the heart of freedom.
I grew up with revolutionaries and political exiles at the kitchen table, playing in and around their heated words and clouds of cigarette smoke, listening to their arguments of insurrection and political theory, of practical power and conniving statesmen.
One thing was always sharply, disturbingly clear from both the experiences I listened to and from the history books I absorbed as part of my voracious reading of everything I could get my hands on:
When the talking stopped was always when the shooting started.
I have seen many things in my life, in many different countries, but the common thread through all of them is this: the human being is a consistent animal. He moves inexorably towards tyranny.
The most vitally restoring antidote that sustains the life of freedom, is that of a very specific kind:
Freedom of speech, the open expression of opinion. Unfettered delivery of ideas and conscience.
Freedom to keep and bear arms is also important. It is an irrevocable, sacred right of free men.
But it is for use when speech fails. And speech fails when it is suppressed.
To prevent the shooting, you must prevent the silencing.
Human beings are easily provoked and the results of provocation are often terrible, especially on national, cultural and civilizational scales. The tumble and turn of peace and war, freedom and slavery, wealth and poverty are all inherent, normal, predictable and observable.
So is the suppression of free speech in the pursuit of power, and the bursting outcome of violence that inevitably follows it. Free men do not bargain with tyrants, and good gains nothing from compromise with evil. Freedom is not negotiable.
Hate speech is the most important to protect. It is the canary in the mine, the finger in the air, testing the wind of pogrom and revolution, of public massacres and killing pits. If you silence one, you silence all, and openly invite the most horrific lusts of human beings to rampage unrestrained.
Freedom is binary. You possess it, or you do not.
You fight for it, or you don’t.
Freedom requires traction, from which mobility arises. Traction comes from contact. Contact comes from engagement, and engagement takes place within encounter. Understanding this is important.
When speech is silenced, and men cannot openly challenge each other and work out conflict and ideas in open forum, consciences curdle and hatred stews and violence is planned.
The only encounter left between silenced men is collision over distance.
This is neither right nor wrong, but simply how it is.
You will not suppress free speech and have a contented people.
You will instead create a restless, angry beast that coils and looks for provocation to kill.
Today in the West there is enormous and concentric assault upon free speech of an unusually competent and subtle kind. It is not the simple proclamation of ordinance against speech that offends the dignity of the king, followed by fines and chains.
It is, instead, the insinuating spread of disgustingly pervasive shame and public social lynching inflicted on those who exhibit wrongthink, badspeak, thoughtcrime; any who mysteriously manage to offend one of thousands of possible permutations of political correctness in Western society.
We are subjected to ever-tightening control in the public sphere, and it has moved from mere idiocy to active, open suppression of speech. Men lose jobs, families, careers and companies for the grave yet imagined sin of having an individual opinion.
As I write these words today I watch the American election cycle break out in open violence on the streets. I see photographs of injured citizens and I read the words of elected politicians on the Left, blaming those bloodied people for their own injuries and assaults by claiming that Donald Trump’s followers, in essence, deserve it.
“Do you wish to go that far?” I would ask them. “Do you believe you have become the new dread lords?”
I tell you today that when speech is not merely punished, but openly suppressed with violent force – that bloodshed and rage, outrage and killing, are made both unstoppable and deserved in terrible consequence.
I did not make the dark world, brothers.
It was dark when we got here. It is what it is.
But I operate within it as a skillful practitioner, a methodological scholar, and a master of principles that are unforgiving when they are violated. And I tell you that the bloody tide of the dark world laps close.
You do not need to be a master to feel that tide turning, nor a scholar to realize that a new age is unfolding, or skilled in politics or speeches to feel the cresting anger of men.
It is too much to tell you in these pages of all the various ways you are subjected to muzzle and shackle.
You are a man, and because you hold this book in your hands, you have both the tools to see it and the means to harden against it.
It is not the purpose of this book to give you political instruction, or to guide you into delivery of speeches.
You are a man, and you are responsible for your own outcomes, and if freedom is what you desire then you have no choice but to do something about the loss of it.
There are men out there who see what I do, and who make it their work to lead. Together there is opportunity for you to do the most important possible thing to fight back, to win victories, and smash the cloying, hideous and humiliating chains that are being wrapped around the wrists of men of the West:
Find your brothers, speak the truth, and build your tribe.
Once more I tell you that loners die alone, and armies win victory.
A thousand years of Western history have led us to this point of decision.
Seize it, and let freedom roar with bloody triumph at shackles snapped.
Else freedom will find its way back in a different hour, with dreadful talons and fire.
That is the way of the dark world, and it is also the way of men.
Pick a road, and choose wisely.
Your time for hesitation is over.
This excerpt from The Nine Laws bears grave warning.
Do you see the silencing, and consequent rages, of Men?
Know patterns below, consequences above, and travel fast.
Much love, honor, and respect,