Advantage at The Standard writes:
If we look back on the origins of the Labour Party, there are plenty of photographs of Michael Joseph Savage and others bringing in some of the most volatile ideological concepts that society had then known, standing in front of crowds declaiming against capitalism in front of thousands of workers. Strike after violent bloody strike from Waihi onwards saw gradual growth in support for the Socialist Party, Independent Political Labour League, United labour League, and whole bunches of pretty muscular and aggressive unions. They spoke to those gathered thousands to specifically incite rebellion against specific companies, specific bosses, imperialism generally and compulsory military service, and their pamphlets and cartoons were by today’s standards outrageously slanderous. I doubt the Labour Party would have been able to exist today if this proposed control of speech had occurred then. We know what the bosses and rulers would have done, because they actually did it.
Where would we be now if such freedom of expression had been stopped?
New Zealand is extraordinarily fortunate that since the 1880s Maori leadership haven’t incited military violence to resist the early state. I’m tempted to say that such incitement is coded into the Haka we now use before Rugby games. But we have instead in New Zealand a very long tradition of civil society resistance that leads to renewal.
Do we need to go through the Springbok Tour resistance, and how much force the state put against protest, and how much force was organised by the protesters? This is how the state deploys the law when it feels like it.
The key difference between violent resistance in our history since the New Zealand wars, and the Christchurch Massacre, was not the regulation of speech but the collection of semiautomatic weapons and ammunition to carry out the murders. The buyback was a good idea and I hope Police continue to use its provisions.
We already have the capacity to remove speech which is so harmful that it should be removed, through the Chief Censor. Yesterday he ordered a specific cartoon of Muslims to be removed, and it was done. No law needed to be changed for that.
And in the comments Lynn Prentice states:
I have to agree. The problem isn’t the hate speech. As a society we can deal with demented dimwits. It isn’t the intent that is the problem. I am perfectly happy calling a demented dimwit out for who I think they are. So are many others.
The problem is when a demented dimwit gets enough power like automatic weapons, bomb making components, or other other tools of mass death. That allows them to cause damage far outside their normal abilities to convince and convert.
We need to control the potential actions. Not people’s ability to defend with words against the words of idiots.
A rare time I agree.