Speech is conduct.

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IASC: The Hedgehog Review – Volume 18, No. 2 (Summer 2016) – On Frank Speech –

The innovation of Donald Trump has been to acknowledge the sorting function played by fastidious speech and build a new class war around it. He successfully portrays the sensitivity and inclusiveness that make up the self-image of those who prevail in the global economy as pretentious cant when he insists on the primacy of interests over gestures. However wittingly, Trump has achieved a quasi-Marxist consciousness-raising of the proletariat, exposing culture war as a front for class war. Both parties have long engaged in this feint. For the Republicans, the winning formula for several decades has been to offer culture war as red meat to the electorate, then turn around and serve the donor class. This is simple cynicism. For the Democrats, the driving force is, rather, moral vanity—a tendency to let the easy pleasures of righteousness stand in for the kind of public-spiritedness that would make real demands on us. Right and left need each other to keep the standard culture wars going, but Trump is short-circuiting the whole arrangement. No wonder both sides are in a panic.

Source: Matthew B. Crawford, IASC: The Hedgehog Review – Volume 18, No. 2 (Summer 2016) – On Frank Speech –

UNDOING THE DEMOS: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution by Wendy Brown reviewed by Irami Osei-Frimpong • Cleaver Magazine

By leveling down the distinction between citizen speech and corporate speech, the Citizens’ United verdict turns all speech into a form of capital deployed by economic actors to try to enhance their competitive positions and values. Instead of charging the government with the duty of protecting the fragile voices of citizens and respecting the qualitative difference between speech grounded in political concern and corporate speech calibrated to enhance market positioning, Justice Kennedy construes the government as the illegitimate obstacle to free speech in general. The economization of citizens and their speech makes the equivalence between persons and corporations possible. This leaves Kennedy to argue for protecting free speech as the free barrage of undifferentiated speech in a “marketplace of ideas.”

Irami Osei-Frimpong, in UNDOING THE DEMOS: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution by Wendy Brown reviewed by Irami Osei-Frimpong • Cleaver Magazine.

While I recognize that this doctrine is firmly entrenched in law, I find the concept entirely offensive. Corporations are artificial creatures of law. As such, they should enjoy only those powers—not constitutional rights, but legislatively-conferred powers—that are concomitant with their legitimate function, that being limited liability investment vehicles for business. Corporations are not persons. Human beings are persons, and it is an affront to the inviolable dignity of our species that courts have created a legal fiction which forces people—human beings—to share fundamental natural rights with soulless creations of government. Worse still, while corporations and human beings share many of the same rights under the law, they clearly are not bound equally to the same codes of good conduct, decency, and morality, and they are not held equally accountable for their sins. Indeed, it is truly ironic that the death penalty and hell are reserved only to natural persons.

Huzzah for the Montana Supreme Court! | Front Porch Republic

While I recognize that this doctrine is firmly entrenched in law, I find the concept entirely offensive. Corporations are artificial creatures of law. As such, they should enjoy only those powers—not constitutional rights, but legislatively-conferred powers—that are concomitant with their legitimate function, that being limited liability investment vehicles for business. Corporations are not persons. Human beings are persons, and it is an affront to the inviolable dignity of our species that courts have created a legal fiction which forces people—human beings—to share fundamental natural rights with soulless creations of government. Worse still, while corporations and human beings share many of the same rights under the law, they clearly are not bound equally to the same codes of good conduct, decency, and morality, and they are not held equally accountable for their sins. Indeed, it is truly ironic that the death penalty and hell are reserved only to natural persons.

Huzzah for the Montana Supreme Court! | Front Porch Republic

While I recognize that this doctrine is firmly entrenched in law, I find the concept entirely offensive. Corporations are artificial creatures of law. As such, they should enjoy only those powers—not constitutional rights, but legislatively-conferred powers—that are concomitant with their legitimate function, that being limited liability investment vehicles for business. Corporations are not persons. Human beings are persons, and it is an affront to the inviolable dignity of our species that courts have created a legal fiction which forces people—human beings—to share fundamental natural rights with soulless creations of government. Worse still, while corporations and human beings share many of the same rights under the law, they clearly are not bound equally to the same codes of good conduct, decency, and morality, and they are not held equally accountable for their sins. Indeed, it is truly ironic that the death penalty and hell are reserved only to natural persons.

Huzzah for the Montana Supreme Court! | Front Porch Republic

“On the Spirit of Silence”

Let us do what the Prophet says: “I said, ‘I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue. I have set a guard to my mouth.’ I was mute and was humbled, and kept silence even from good things.” Here the Prophet shows that if the spirit of silence ought to lead us at times to refrain even from good speech, so much the more ought the punishment for sin make us avoid evil words.Therefore, since the spirit of silence is so important, permission to speak should rarely be granted even to perfect disciples, even though it be for good, holy, edifying conversation; for it is written, “In much speaking you will not escape sin,” and in another place, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

For speaking and teaching belong to the master; the disciple’s part is to be silent and to listen. And for that reason if anything has to be asked of the Superior, it should be asked with all humility and submission inspired by reverence.

But as for coarse jests and idle words or words that move to laughter, these we condemn everywhere with a perpetual ban, and for such conversation we do not permit a disciple to open his mouth. — Rule of St. Benedict