Freedom of Speech on Trial
If my hypothesis is correct, this work will be repressed. It should not be surprising if justice is not done to the evidence presented here. It should not be unexpected that these arguments will not be given a fair hearing. It is not unreasonable to think that this work will not be judged on its merits.
This work contains a theoretical application of sociobiology to politics. Simply discussing its theories publicly can constitute an experimental test of liberal democracy’s original enlightenment claim to advance freedom of rational inquiry. Such a discussion can clarify the extent, and the particular ways, in which these original enlightenment self-justifications have been politically abandoned. The attempt to repress rather than address the evidence in this work, for example, can clarify that there are arguments of substance that are being denied a right to be heard. Persistent intolerance of certain kinds of rational inquiry can clarify that civilized means of public discourse have broken down.
The basic problem with a sociobiological self-analysis for liberal democracy is that it does what its free speech principles were designed to do. Sociobiology can help expose the distortions, lies, and falsehoods of the powers that be — that power being liberal democracy itself. Findings of sociobiology have refuted the original theory of human nature underlying liberal democracy. The constitutional right to freedom of speech was built upon this pre-Darwinian view of man that findings of sociobiology have refuted.
In consequence, an accurate sociobiological theory of liberal democracy presents the fundamental test of this political system’s claims to freedom speech. The system cannot be understood on the basis on its own premises and assumptions. This sociobiological theory about liberal democracy requires going beyond liberal democracy and this is what makes sociobiological self-understanding inherently controversial and liable to be repressed within a liberal democracy.
Those who think that sociobiology fully applied to the human-political sphere should expect a fair hearing on the grounds of freedom of speech have committed an error. The error falls, not on liberal democracy itself, but on those who have overestimated it as a political system, failing to grasp its inherent limitations. Even under ideal conditions, the freedom of speech method cannot be expected to publicly separate empirically true statements from empirically falsified statements in every instance. The empirical validity of the theories in this work cannot be expected to be verified by the public freedom of speech method of liberal democracy.
The freedom of speech hypothesis states that since the controversial nature of sociobiology in a liberal democracy cannot fundamentally be ‘fixed’, the repression of this work may empirically verify this theory of liberal democracy through the very act of repressing it. It also applies to other related sociobiological theories. Unwarranted rejection of this sociobiological theory of liberal democracy should follow, not accidentally and randomly, but predictably and routinely. From those socialized or invested in the system, repeated rejection or repression of this work in the face of overwhelming evidence should inspire, not surprise, but boredom. Its regularity would have the character of a general law, and hence, I call it the freedom of speech hypothesis. Testing this hypothesis in the form of a free, open, and ongoing public debate would constitute what Tocqueville called an “experiment in democracy”.
Can we speak with freedom about the things that demonstrate the limits of freedom of speech? The freedom of speech hypothesis predicts only that attempts will be made at repression, not whether or not these attempts will be successful. The only scientific way to verify or falsify the freedom of speech hypothesis would be to collect evidence of repression, whether successful or not, of it and related sociobiological theories.
Examples of evidence that could constitute its verification include more than the inhibition of the distribution of this work. Silent, inconspicuous, and seemingly innocuous methods of repression that preempt even the opportunity for consideration of alternatives, and extirpate even the awareness of the existence of other points of view, are so often the most effective. After all, why should censors burn books or other media when they can simply pull them from access or availability? Ultimately, the methods available for repression are flexible and multifarious. Consequently, any attempted or actual repression could constitute a verification of the freedom of speech hypothesis, regardless of the particular adaptable, evolving, and unpredictable means of repression.
There should be no bar for anyone to access this work. This work should be distributed for free; not for profit. I will likely be unable to defend its content against (further evidence for its repression through) media manipulations such as falsification, misrepresentation, decontextualization, and distortion. I can only point out that to verify a position, the position itself must first be disclosed in its veracity.
Yet the question remains whether the theories presented in this work stand up to the evidence or not. The problem is this: if the views expressed in this work are only attacked, dismissed, denounced, repudiated, maligned, or vilified with slander, defamation, marginalization, misrepresentation, or denigration, how can one tell if this is only a method of evading the real issues of substance? The substance of one person’s disagreement might be unreasoned ideological-political value commitments. For such a person, rational reflection on human nature might be less important than the political outcome that the theories presented here are ultimately discredited. This criterion holds no less for anyone who agrees on scientific grounds: there is no reason to assume that one can resolve one’s integrity as a scientist with one’s commitments as a political partisan.
In response, I stress that what is scientifically relevant is not whether one agrees or disagrees, but why one agrees or disagrees. What are the reasons a given theory might be accepted or rejected? If one thinks that I am wrong, then demonstrate why I am wrong. If one claims to judge this thesis by its scientific merits rather than unreasoned loyalty to extra-scientific commitments, then there is no need whatsoever to repress it and one should be able to confront my arguments point by point. Can the critic offer a better explanation of the evidence than the ones presented in this work? Why should anyone be convinced by anything less than an alternative theory that can better account for all of the evidence? I challenge anyone to resist public and political pressures and confront this application of sociobiology to politics on the basis of its scientific merits.
The Saxon/Norman origin of liberal democracy in the English-speaking world is the key to understanding why the discoveries of sociobiology have appeared to be so congenitally politically controversial. Stated briefly, a long-term consequence of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 was a nepotistic “class” system imposed over the defeated Anglo-Saxons. Yet, as Thomas Jefferson put it, “although this constitution was violated and set at naught by Norman force, yet force cannot change right. A perpetual claim was kept up by the nation” for “a restoration of their Saxon laws.” This ongoing kinship-ethnic conflict broke out most radically as the English Civil War (1642-1651), the American War for Independence (1775-83), and the American Civil War (1861-65). Liberal democracy in the English-speaking world originated, in part, through the evolution of this tribal struggle.
As a logical fulfillment of the enlightenment founding of liberal democracy, this work puts liberal democracy on trial. It is a test of liberal democratic justice; if based on its own standards of justice, the evidence can be judged on its merits, unmarred by political interests. It is a test of whether America can be true to itself.