Neil Young has abandoned all of his former principles

How ironic does it get that Neil Young, musician, and writer of "Rockin' in the Free World," is now supporting the most unfree idea of pressuring corporations to censor and suppress free expression and debate?  With the grand objective of saving humanity from COVID, Neil Young has persuaded Joni Mitchell and other artists to join him in his anti–free speech effort to force Spotify to remove contrary viewpoints that challenge the efficacy, safety, and wisdom of mass vaccinations that even their supporters now concede don't work as advertised.

Young has enjoyed a long, successful career writing and performing songs with views that often challenged official public policy, yet he was rarely, if ever, banned.  Curiously, he is now advocating a hi-tech form of Soviet-era intolerance and suppression of intellectual thought and discourse.

Neil's Stalinist-like anti-free speech movement is misguided virtue at the very least.  To paraphrase attorney and constitutional law scholar Jonathan Turley, "artists against free speech is like athletes against fitness."

This sudden passion for censoring discussion of contrary views to official government opinion doesn't square with Young's lifelong, fiercely tenacious pursuit of artistic independence from limits, including his right to express freely even highly political viewpoints in his music.  He now supports censoring commonsense opinions that simply call for greater caution and more careful, impartial study before pushing experimental vaccines on citizens as young as babies.

By demanding corporate suppression of discussion and debate on controversial topics, those who support Young and Joni Mitchell on this issue make common cause with the world's most repugnant tyrants.  Those are the ones who block dissenting discussion on opinions contrary to official doctrine because these views threaten the political agendas and financial interests of the ruling class.

Image: Neil Young performing in Finland in 1996 by Kymi (added text).  CC BY-SA 3.0.

What artists like Young and Mitchell have forgotten is that suppressing thought and public discourse serves to weaken culture, not to strengthen it.  Society benefits when people are free to hear and consider all sides of the important matters that affect them.  An advanced society requires the cultural space for citizens to think for themselves and learn tolerance for contrary or even ridiculous opinions.

Neil's "Brain Police" idea of censorship and suppression of thought reveals a retrograde philosophy inconsistent with basic constitutional principles of liberty.  Considering Neil's career, it's bizarre that he and artists like Joni Mitchell would even consider that nanny state overlords are required as gatekeepers for limiting content for the masses.  Somewhere along the line, these former free spirits decided that the masses have impressionable, childlike minds that must be protected at all costs for their own good.

Considering their trajectory, maybe the next movement for these enlightened self-righteous artists will be to promote Maoist struggle sessions and compulsory study of Xi Jinping Thought.

Moses Williamson is a pen name used to shield family and friends from dangerous throwbacks unable to respect such advanced concepts as constitutional rights of free speech and open debate.

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