Hate Speech

The Libertarian Stance On Hate Speech: Opinions vs. Feelings


Over the recent years, the topic of hate speech has bubbled to the surface in many circles. To some, there is a belief that words should be policed and punishments to be levied against those who fail to comply with verbiage that reflects more politically correct normalcies. The libertarian stance on hate speech has been lost by some who place their feelings in a higher regard to the individual rights of others.

Much of this comes from the more left-leaning side of the libertarian ideology who are not opposed to using force against people who express opinions and say things they don’t agree with (see ANTIFA post).

While “hate speech” is a misnomer, as it is based 100% on subjective interpretation, the idea behind the advocating for the banning of hate speech rests largely in the idea of protecting another’s feelings and avoiding provocative statements meant to be inflammatory, using government violence to ensure the proper words are being spoken.

Many opposed to the notion of curbing “hate speech” aren’t opposed to the respect (or lack of) aspect of the movement as much as the relative nature of it and the advocation of the use of force against others who say words they don’t agree with.

Libertarian Party Position:

Per the 2018 party platform:

“…the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form”

The Libertarian Stance:

The libertarian stance on hate speech is extremely simple. Another person’s right to freely speak their mind is core to the idea of self-ownership; however, those who are offended by the words of another are not obligated to associate with them, nor are they obligated to engage in any activity with them against their will. Each person is entitled to their expression of ideas and opinions, but not everyone is entitled to tolerate or be around them against their will.

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