“We are Restricting Freedom … for the Common Good”: Irish Green Party Calls For Limiting Free Speech

The Irish Green Party followed many on the left around the world, including our own Democratic Party, this week and came out for censorship and speech controls. Indeed, the party went full Orwellian as its chairwoman Pauline O’Reilly called for “restricting freedom” to protect it.

O’Reilly’s comments are part of the introduction of the Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022. We previously discussed this massive assault on free speech.

The legislation that would criminalize “incitement to violence or hatred against” people with “protected characteristics,” as well as “condoning, denying or grossly trivialising genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace.”

Limiting free speech has become an article of faith for many on the left. I have written about my distress (as someone who grew up in a liberal, politically active Democratic family in Chicago) in watching the abandonment of free speech values by the party. Democratic leaders now uniformly call for censorship and speech regulations. President Biden even charged that companies who refused to censor opposing views on social media were “killing people.”  Others have denounced free speech as “a white man’s obsession.”

The anti-free speech movement has become openly Orwellian in claiming to protect freedom by limiting freedom.  It also employs using terms like disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation to obscure their effort to silence those with opposing views. Rather than use “censorship,” they refer to “content moderation.”

That effort was on full display this week in Ireland with this anti-free speech legislation.

Speaking before the Irish Senate (Seanad) this week, O’Reilly declared “when one thinks about it, all law and all legislation is about the restriction of freedom. This is exactly what we are doing here. We are restricting freedom but we are doing it for the common good.”

It is the same message of New York democrats calling for limiting speech as a way of protecting democracy. Indeed, former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich has declared free speech is “tyranny.”

O’Reilly assured citizens that giving up freedom was nothing new or threatening: “Throughout our Constitution one can see that while one has rights they are restricted for the common good. Everything needs to be balanced.”

What is particularly chilling is how low the threshold is for denying free speech, according to O’Reilly. It now appears that “deep discomfort” is enough:

“If a person’s views on other people’s identities make their lives unsafe and insecure, and cause them such deep discomfort that they cannot live in peace, our job as legislators is to restrict those freedoms for the common good.”

What is interesting is that O’Reilly admits that there is nothing new about hateful views but it is time to clear out such voices: “Social media has fuelled hatred but it has also put on display for all of us the dirty, filthy, underbelly of hatred in Irish society. That hatred has always existed.”  Of course, she and the majority will determine what views create “deep discomfort.”

The Irish legislation is likely to be replicated around the world if the free speech community cannot hold the line against the anti-free speech movement. It is part of an unrelenting movement in Europe, particularly by the European Union, to rollback Western free speech values that once defined countries.

We have been discussing efforts by figures like Hillary Clinton to enlist European countries to force Twitter to restore censorship rules. Unable to rely on corporate censorship or convince users to embrace censorship, Clinton and others are resorting to good old-fashioned state censorship, even asking other countries to censor the speech of American citizens.

Ireland now stands on the precipice of freedom. The embrace of such laws by the Irish is crushingly ironic. Frank Ryan, who fought against the treaty, spoke for many radicals in declaring “as long as we have fists and boots, there will be no free speech for traitors.” Those anti-Treaty forces rejected the views of free speech that long defined Western nations. Now, Ireland is declaring “no free speech for haters” and assumes the authority to define who are haters and who are not.

53 thoughts on ““We are Restricting Freedom … for the Common Good”: Irish Green Party Calls For Limiting Free Speech”

  1. “We are restricting freedom but we are doing it for the common good,” she said, channeling Robespierre.

    The “common good” comes from the irrational idea of collectivism — the evil notion that the individual is nothing; the group, everything. At root, it is collectivism that is destroying free speech. Its antidote is individualism.

  2. In case citing Orwell makes what’s happening now appear fictional or distant, then try citing Vaclav Havel. He was a Czech dissident living under communism in 1978 when he coordinated a joint project between Czech and Polish dissidents to write and respond to essays regarding freedom and power. The Czech side, including Havel were arrested before the Polish side got involved. This excerpt from Havel’s essay The Power of the Powerless, describes the non-fiction world of living under communist rule.

    Remember, this was real-world communist life. I hope you read this list, because this is real-world American life.

    • life in the system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies;
    • government by bureaucracy is called popular government;
    • the working class is enslaved in the name of the working class;
    • the complete degradation of the individual is presented as his ultimate liberation;
    • depriving people of information is called making it available;
    • the use of power to manipulate is called the public control of power, and the arbitrary abuse of power is called observing the legal code;
    • the repression of culture is called its development;
    • the expansion of imperial influence is presented as support for the oppressed;
    • the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom;
    • farcical elections become the highest form of democracy;
    • banning independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views;
    • military occupation becomes fraternal assistance.
    • Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything.
    • It falsifies the past.
    • It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics.
    • It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus.
    • It pretends to respect human rights.
    • It pretends to persecute no one.
    • It pretends to fear nothing.
    • It pretends to pretend nothing.

  3. I always used to wonder how the Nazi party won elections in 1933, and how the German people went along with them. I no longer wonder.

  4. My only question is who gets to decide??? What a perfect start on the path to totalitarianism.

    1. I believe Western civilization is already well on the path to totalitarianism. This belief system otherwise could not take root. The seeds were planted long ago. The bitter irony is that conservative leaders been demonized as a fascist and yet their opponents are the ones who are engaging in fascist behavior as we proceed toward totalitarian societies. Beyond scary.

  5. Even though my family and my wife’s family are heavily Irish, along with a smattering of English, Scottish, French, Portuguese and now Chinese, I don’t broadcast the fact and I never observe St Patrick’s day. I know the British did some terrible things in Ireland over the centuries of their rule in Ireland but the century of self rule by Ireland since then makes me increasingly less sympathetic to that Island. A nice place to visit but I would not want to live there.
    As far as the Europeans are concerned, they just had to have a superstate to rival the US but god forbid that they set up up a federal republic with separation of powers and a well delineated constitution. The now have a supernational European Union that protects little in the way of individual rights or property rights, or just about any other right unless this unresponsive government deigns to “gift these right’s” to their subjects.
    Even with Mr. Biden in power the US economic power is eclipsing the European Union and their militaries are pathetic. Unless there is a real change in direction I would predict a war in the not too distant future between the US and Europe. They were growing closer to Russia and China until this recent Ukrainian War suddenly opened their eyes a little.
    I welcome the influx of legal immigrants from non European countries. They are hungrier and generally not poisoned by the stale, nearly fascist nation states of much of that continent, and they can thrive here and bless us with their different perspectives.
    There was a reason, that most of our nation are descendants of people who left Europe. I think the reasons are still valid.

    1. Sure, welcome to America! Bless us with different perspectives? Really now. What can an south American or african teach me about life? Really, tell me what my worthless, soulless American soul lacks that I need from a hoard of illegals. Yeah, those illegals storm our borders, shedding crocodile tears about how their governments abuse them, tramples their human rights, so they abandon their countries instead of fighting to fix it, or even overthrowing their governments, with the backstop knowing that liberal America will give them all they want, telling them to scream sexism, racisim, white patriarchy if they don’t get what they want, so liberals give them welfare, cell phones, porn, hotel rooms all at the expense of poor Americans who live paycheck to paycheck. .
      GBB a delusional liberal who thinks its moral to steal from the mouths of her own citizens, especially the weak and poor, muzzle those voices, deny their constitutional rights and tell them it’s for their own good, if any criticism arises, its trampled on by the likes of the media, FBI, DOJ and the POTUS.
      Yeah, welcome to America…

      1. I said LEGAL IMMIGRANTS, Read it correctly. And I have never been a liberal. Always a conservative. What we have today is a mass of illegal immigrants invading our border under the auspices of an increasingly illegal administration. There are still people who come legally and come for the freedoms we have at present although they are obviously under assault. I have no problem with legal immigration. Most we would be happy to have. If you have read my previous statements as GEB you would know that.

  6. Why is the First Amendment…..the first of the Bill of Rights?

    Anyone who attempts to diminish those Rights are an enemy of the State and should be dealt with as we would with any enemy…..foreign or domestic.

    The US Army Motto is “This I shall defend!”.


  7. Attempts to censor are bipartisan. They arise from and for different reasons but the goal is the same.

    In the US, be it whiny, safe-spacing tyrants or wacko Christian snowflakes, the extremes want to insulate everyone from ideas and opinions that they personally don’t like.

    “Protect the children!”, oh please. How about you prepare them for the world as it is rather than retard education by safespacing (sound familiar?) their exposure to said ideas.

  8. Sad. I had found Ireland to be one of the last bastions of real culture. I do not know how we avoid another world conflict at this point; the globalists are fascists of the highest order. Very, very sad.

  9. Ireland is a wonderful place but it is being ruined by the Left Wing and Greens. The Irish people are wonderful and speak their mind so what the Greens propose is not reflective the Irish. Unfortunately the Greens have adopted the Left Wing Radical Policies of the Brussels Crowd and the Elites. Ireland, as part of the EU, is being ruined by such radical policies. The anti free speech policy is just one of several the Greens are pushing that are radical

  10. Another member of the elitist left. Destroy any opposition to the politburo. I don’t know who said it, “ We, of the resistance, demand that no one puts up any resistance, so We can continue to be the resistance, withouut meeting any resistance!!” #hivemind

  11. And “silence is violence” now too, so no one will have the right to be silent. We will all be compelled to ‘affirm’ whatever the high priests of feelings demand – whether it’s true or not.

  12. If you are ” Triggered” by a” Microaggression” and need a ” Safe Space” you are a PU**Y!! Grow the F**K UP!!!

  13. It’s always someone else’s ‘thing’ that’s going to be controlled, never the controllers’. Classic totalitarianism.

  14. Is anyone surprised by this?

    Don’t vote against their opponents just because you don’t like them.

    Anyone who supports these people because you don’t like the opposition deserves what you get from them.

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