Monday, July 17, 2006

An important aside on free speech in Latvia

I rarely depart from the subject at hand, but now I fear that Latvia will make the world news not because, say, Tele2 is about to claim it has 1 million users (nearly half the population, infants, infirm, geezers and such included), but because of yet another free speech scandal brewing because of a planned Gay Pride march for July 22. There is considerable pressure to forbid this march (as the Moscow police, a great example, recently did when gays tried to march there). For me, this is fundamentally an issue of free speech, even to those whose views may be offensive or strange to the majority. Indeed, free speech rights are precisely about the rights of minorities to express their views in public, to declare dissenting, radical and even repulsive ideas. We all lose our freedom if we leave it to governments, pressure groups, so-called religious groups and authorities to influence or dictate what we may or may not say in public.
As for my personal views, I am philosophically a libertarian, I support gay rights and have, just for fun, started blogging on this from time to time in Latvian, even making up what appears to be a new Latvian word for libertarianism - libertisms. And strangely enough, I am doing in on a blogging platform maintained by a Latvian IT and political blogger, Kristaps Kaupe, who is one of the anti-gay actvists with his hardline nationalist organization. I hope Kristaps appreciates that his own platform, which has a number of what I would call weird (and not only politically, just plain strange) blogs, is actually a model of a consensual libertarian community where all views are welcome.
To likely 10 % of my readers who may happen to be gay or lesbian, please don't assume that any craziness (banned marches, dumb-ass statements by the government or city council, anti-gay mobs and riots) coming out of Latvia represents what all Latvians think. I certainly don't. Everyone is welcome on this blog as long as we mainly talk about telecoms and IT. Alas, I don't have the time to keep my long dead Thoughts From Latvia blog updated, we could go on about politics there and while my Latvian-language libertarian blog is unique (I think, and Kristaps says Google confirms it), I am not about to start another Teenage Mutant Libertarian Reptiles blog to try to stick out among the hundreds of confessionals of my first time with Ayn Rand and the like.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm neither gay nor lesbian, and don't really care about G&L rights - I'll be at Pride with them to defend MY rights for free speech. Here you are correct - by defending them I'm defending myself.
However, about latvian government/PR image you are wrong - people ARE responsible for what they have.

Anonymous said...

If they are normal human beings, then for them will be enough with simple everyones human rights and responsibility. If they interpret rights of free speech in that manner - in violation of other rights, then they are not a normal human beings, - sorry only logic conclusion. Everyone, including gays and lesbians - don't need such exposure and pressure like this pride.

Juris Kaža said...

Anonymous at 10:44. If you read Latvian, as many of the readers of the blog do, please check out blogs.7x24.lv/blog/juriskazha/, my libertarian philosophy blog (in Latvian) where we can discuss this at length. This blog is mainly for stuff like debates about HSDPA versus CDMA 450 :)

Pēteris*, «Pankūkas - Pētersonei!» crew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bleveland said...

Pēteris*, «Pankūkas - Pētersonei!» crew : Your english seems to be a lot worse than one would expect after reading your comment. Juris already stated clearly: "This blog is mainly for stuff like debates about HSDPA versus CDMA 450 :)". But you missed that one or didn't you?
It does not mean that I don't think you have a tiny little point though. Anyway this is not the place to discuss that!

Pēteris*, «Pankūkas - Pētersonei!» crew said...

No, I did not. You may now return to discussing discussing and other mainly HSDPA versus CDMA 450 related stuff :)

N.R. said...

the pride thing will only harm them. what those people don't understand is that they will not achieve anything. if they stay at home and don't bother other people - fine, nobody cares. but when they start a massive campain as this - most people get pissed off. newspapers, tv, everywhere they are - screaming about some mysterious rights that they don't have (completely false mostly)

another thing is - this is all about money. the pride receives finances from international gay organisations...

Nils Kaza said...

This is just sad. I sure hope they manage to pull the thing off somehow, even though they did not get a permit.
If not, then this is a big blow for the G&L rights movement, freedom of speech and probably a big victory for those religous/conservative/nationalist dipshit motherfuckers >_<

/share the wealth, fight fascism, the revolution wont be televised, etc etc ;-)

Juri said...

KĀ PIEDALĪTIES IZLOZĒ: http://lv.loterii.net/latviesu_index01.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.rekaksois.com/weblog/index.html?actionx=comment&id=149