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I realize it's beyond the scope of this forum, but I can't help wondering what notions of "freedom of expression" are being advanced here, and in how many cases by Americans with assumptions about just what the First Amendment guarantees.
The First Amendment guarantees a right that the writers were convinced is inherent. The restiction is on the government's interference with it, but it doesn't mean that "freedom of expression" as a concept is meaningless apart from that specific restriction.
 

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Freedom of expression exists where it is exercised, not in a philosophy textbook. It means what those who exercise it want it to mean, and it therefore means different things to different people.
Well to some people totalitarianism (whatever it may mean) is a good thing, especially to totalitarians.
 

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He's a Russian lamenting what's happening in and to his country, which he loves.
I though it was obvious, but my reply focussed on his interpretation of history.

This is called "whataboutism." It's used, fallaciously, to deflect blame and excuse all manner of wrongs.
History isn't about blame, its about getting a clear picture of what happened. Of course, whatever facts we have can be interpreted in different ways.

You could. Anyone can blame anyone. So...?
That's my point.

In the present, we have an unjustified war of aggression and conquest going on. What benefits most is to be clear about that and to stand unambiguously against it.
Give me a break. America bombed Yemen and Somalia during the same week. Where is the moral wrangling over that, and many many other actions like that? I guess that's okay. If something unintended happens, its just collateral damage.

Opinions are not without consequence. We enable what we advocate. Every atrocity begins with someone's "opinion." Yes, every scoundrel has a right to his opinion, but that doesn't make it, or him, good or harmless, or obligate others to put up with him.
In that case, you will be denying the rights of many people on spurious grounds. I guess its okay because its part of a bid for world peace or whatever. Good luck with that.
 

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The First Amendment guarantees a right that the writers were convinced is inherent. The restiction is on the government's interference with it, but it doesn't mean that "freedom of expression" as a concept is meaningless apart from that specific restriction.
Not meaningless, no, but not guaranteed as an absolute right, protected from all possible consequences, outside of that restriction.
 

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Not meaningless, no, but not guaranteed as an absolute right, protected from all possible consequences, outside of that restriction.
Pretty much guaranteed in that Congress can't make any law eliminating it. It doesn't confer *any* rights. It limits the government's power to encroach on them.
 

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That obligates others, at least others with a sense of decency, not to punish people for an opinion. Without that decency and tolerance -- and moral rigidity -- there is no such thing as "freedom of expression". Saying that I'm free to express my opinion but that those with the self-declared moral clarity can decide that my offensive opinion must be met with punishment, makes "freedom of expression" a farce.
You don't understand the concept of free expression. March in Nazi parades if you like - you're free to express yourself that way - but don't expect me to talk to you, have you over for dinner, or recommend you for a job. Consequences are not necessarily "punishment," but what if they are? I'm not a government putting you in prison or deporting you. You're free to salute at your Nazi parties, but I'm free to expose you as a Nazi, write about your activities, and put as much space between us as I wish. We both remain free.

I fail to see how employing this singer or this conductor is tantamount to employing Putin.
It isn't. Nobody said anything was "tantamount" to anything. "Tantamount" is one of those annoying words used to obscure differences.
 

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America bombed Yemen and Somalia during the same week. Where is the moral wrangling over that, and many many other actions like that? I guess that's okay. If something unintended happens, its just collateral damage.
You seem to be suggesting that if we don't take an active, public stand against every wrong and wrongdoer in the world, we shouldn't do so against anything, no matter how enormous or ghastly. Do I misunderstand?
 

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...March in Nazi parades if you like - you're free to express yourself that way - but don't expect me to talk to you, have you over for dinner, or recommend you for a job. Consequences are not necessarily "punishment," but what if they are? ...
Then it's no longer freedom of expression. That's like saying there's freedom to murder, but you will pay the penalty. If you want to use Nazi analogies, Nazi Germany had as much freedom of expression then as any other place. So did the Stalinist USSR. You were free to say whatever you wanted, or hold whatever opinion...if you paid the price.
 

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You seem to be suggesting that if we don't take an active, public stand against every wrong and wrongdoer in the world, we shouldn't do so against anything, no matter how enormous or ghastly. Do I misunderstand?
If a country touts itself to be the leader of the free world, then it probably shouldn't. Especially since, in so many cases, it is itself an aggressor!
 

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Then it's no longer freedom of expression. That's like saying there's freedom to murder, but you will pay the penalty. If you want to use Nazi analogies, Nazi Germany had as much freedom of expression then as any other place. So did the Stalinist USSR. You were free to say whatever you wanted, or hold whatever opinion...if you paid the price.
It would seem your real argument is not with the posters here, but with U.S. federal and state laws, which do to a large extent allow for people to be fired based on their political beliefs or activities.

EDIT: My apologies if I'm incorrectly assuming, based on previous posts, that you're from the U.S.
 

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Sibelius, Beethoven, Satie, Debussy
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Well to some people totalitarianism (whatever it may mean) is a good thing, especially to totalitarians.
Eh? What does this have to do with what I posted?

I realize it's beyond the scope of this forum, but I can't help wondering what notions of "freedom of expression" are being advanced here, and in how many cases by Americans with assumptions about just what the First Amendment guarantees.
Great question. It perfectly exemplifies my point. The First Amendment doesn't apply everywhere in the world. Come to that, nor does any of the Constitution of the USA. So the version of "freedom of expression/speech/whatever" that applies in the USA is what matters to citizens of the USA. They may also wish their rules and freedoms applied everywhere else, but they don't.

In the UK, there is no constitution that enshrines a freedom of expression.
 

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It would seem your real argument is not with the posters here, but with U.S. federal and state laws, which do to a large extent allow for people to be fired based on their political beliefs or activities.

EDIT: My apologies if I'm incorrectly assuming, based on previous posts, that you're from the U.S.
Yeah I'm from the US, and my argument would probably be with both, to a certain extent. I do think an employer has certain rights as well -- for example I don't think a specifically Muslim organization should be mandated to hire Jews, Christians, atheists or whatever, or vice versa -- I'm still against the concept of "thought crime".
 

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Then it's no longer freedom of expression. That's like saying there's freedom to murder, but you will pay the penalty. If you want to use Nazi analogies, Nazi Germany had as much freedom of expression then as any other place. So did the Stalinist USSR. You were free to say whatever you wanted, or hold whatever opinion...if you paid the price.
That's exactly right. Freedom of expression isn't unfettered. Express the wrong thing, and there may be consequences.

Mercifully, it's usually for the courts to decide in a democracy what a citizen is and isn't free to express and not random folks on a classical music forum.
 

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Forster said:
The First Amendment doesn't apply everywhere in the world.
No offense, but that's ridiculous. Nobody ever claimed that "free expression" originated in any amendment or constitution, for that matter.
Mercifully, it's usually for the courts to decide in a democracy what a citizen is and isn't free to express and not random folks on a classical music forum.
"Mercifully"? What if those courts decide to be a bunch of Roland Freislers?
 

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No offense, but that's ridiculous. Nobody ever claimed that "free expression" originated in any amendment or constitution, for that matter.
"Mercifully"? What if those courts decide to be a bunch of Roland Freislers?
It's not ridiculous to exemplify the point I made in post #99 that FOE varies according to the jurisdiction where it is exercised.

I haven't the faintest idea who Roland Freisler is - not that it matters. It'll be my bad luck if a I get a duff judge on the day I'm in court. That's the problem with the world: you just can't trust anyone or any institution 100% of the time.

Anyway, you've not told us where you get your idea of FOE.
 

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Forster said:
Anyway, you've not told us where you get your idea of FOE.
Probably the same place where I get my idea of inherent human rights and dignity.
Then we're screwed. Any society runs the risk of its courts reflecting its worst characteristics. But we still adhere to a judicial system, if only for lack of anything more trustworthy.
But that wouldn't be among the "worst characteristics" if we as a society determined that wrong thoughts and opinions should be punished. Or, to be more precise, if Twitter and Facebook decide such for us.
 

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If a country touts itself to be the leader of the free world, then it probably shouldn't. Especially since, in so many cases, it is itself an aggressor!
Again we are treated to a glutinous fog of an invented moral equivalency between the 1930s West and Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. As only one example of the deadly ferocity of Stalin's Soviet Union (somewhat equal with Hitler's Night of the Long Knives), is this account of the deadly purge of the Soviet army in the later 1930s....

"[O]ut of eighty members of the 1934 Military Soviet only five were left in September 1938. All eleven Deputy Commissars for Defense were eliminated. Every commander of a military district...had been executed by the summer of 1938. Thirteen out of fifteen army commanders, fifty-seven out of eighty-five corps commanders, 110 put of 195 divisional commanders. 220 out of 406 brigade commanders, were executed. But the greatest numerical loss was borne in the Soviet officer corps from the rank of colonel downward and extending to company commander level." (Alan Clark: Barbarossa)

I am unaware of similar spasms of domestic murder committed by the West in those years (or ever). This zeal to establish a moral equivalence between Russia and the West reflects a profound ignorance of history. Odd that the perceived persecution of Netrebko and Gergiev has spawned such a torrent of (as Woodduck notes) spurious WhatAboutism seeking to conflate the relative insignificant discomforting of N and G or the misguided appeasement by the West with the real horrors of pre-war Russia and Germany and Putin's continuing criminality.
 

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Probably the same place where I get my idea of inherent human rights and dignity.
You're being coy. How cute.

if we as a society determined that wrong thoughts and opinions should be punished.
"Society" does already. I see nothing wrong in that - though I'd probably draw the line at punishing people just because they don't like the football team I support.
 
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