What is this “authoritarian Left” you speak of?

This is not my work. It is by a very dear friend named Bill Voecks (@athgar), but it’s reposted here from Facebook so it wouldn’t be lost.

I’ve been hearing a lot of noise lately about the “authoritarian Left” and it’s attempts to enforce “political correctness” upon everyone else, and “censor” their free speech. Now, I have no idea who this “authoritarian Left” is, but I’d like to ask the people clutching their pearls over this a few questions:

1) Is it your opinion there should never be consequences for anything you say, regardless of how bigoted or hateful or threatening? Bear in mind that not even the First Amendment protects all speech.

2) If you believe that the things people say should not be immune from consequences, what kinds of speech should have consequences, and where do you believe are the limits of acceptable consequences?

3) How do you define “authoritarian Left?” Be specific. It’s hard to have a conversation about a thing if everyone involved isn’t clear what that thing is.

4) What evidence do you have that this thing you’re calling the “authoritarian Left” is a thing of any real significance? Show your work, and remember that “data” is not the plural of “anecdote.”

5) Define “political correctness.” If I’m going to take seriously the idea of political correctness, I’m going to need someone to convince me that it means something more than the consequences for saying shitty, bigoted things.

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