Offense To Others, Canaan Stuart Type 3

Canaan Stuart
2 min readSep 1, 2020


In Offense to Others, I believe a more radical stance is taken than in On Liberty.

What’s difficult here is that although on paper it sounds like banning these “fighting words” is a great idea, whenever speech is taken from a society, that society changes on a fundamental level.

Hate speech changes through time, and what your government considers hate speech might be the opposite. Please allow me to explain.

In communist China, one may be banned from using public transportation for speaking poorly of their government. This occurred whenever a Chinese MMA fighter said that Chinese martial arts were outdated, and then proceeded to prove it by, as a Chinese boxer, using MMA to defeat major martial arts “masters.” His government deemed this wrong, and banned him from public transportation, hotels, gave him a massive debt, and made him wear clown make up at the tournaments. This was only last year.

In fascist and nazi Germany, one may be killed for simply speaking out against Hitler.

In the communist Soviet Union, one may be sent to the gulag prison camps for speaking on rebellion.

As you see, all of these cases were considered hate speech in their time. Power over what speech is good or bad simply cannot be left up to a government. Words must be used freely, even whenever truly evil, because control over them may lead to a real life reenactment of the book 1984. I’m not saying not to judge those who speak wrongfully, in fact I say do whatever YOU as an individual chooses. But allowing your country to decide is a recipe for disaster, as that amount of power, whether in three years for 300 years, will surely get to one of these president’s heads.