No quibble this time

Kirn gets a bit too ethereal at times, but here he’s rigorously and strictly practical:

Free speech is a property right. It is the right to bring to market, in a form that can be valued & used in trade, the products of your own thinking & inner life. To unduly inhibit people’s speech is to deprive them of the potential for value-creation. It is, quite simply, theft.

This is freedom as seen by a professional writer or publisher. The same would apply to inventors or engineers or programmers, though ‘inner life’ probably doesn’t belong there.

Note also the careful and practical ‘unduly’. A writer shouldn’t be free to commit blackmail or incite a war or command a murder, just as a programmer shouldn’t be free to write extortionate malware, or a doctor shouldn’t be free to strangle all her patients.

In the current situation, all constructive value creation is blocked by regulation/litigation or prohibited by explicit law. Creating a real business is practically impossible. Building a factory or nuclear power plant is impossible.

Extortion and torture and war and murder are the ONLY forms of speech and commerce we permit.