Two Kinds of Speech?
Is there speech that should be protected by law and speech that should not?
I recently responded to a Facebook post that asserted there are two kinds of speech. There is political speech as protected by the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment to allow citizens to voice grievances against government, and then there is all other speech, which he asserts is not protected.
There is only speech, and it is either free or not. There is no valid conceptual difference between "political" (or "public") speech and private or non-political speech. it is all just speech and we all have a right to it.
His argument goes off the rails in two major ways. One is that with free speech, like all rights, one is responsible for the consequences of that speech. So if you yell "Fire!" in a theatre and get arrested for it, you are not being prosecuted for your speech (there is no such law), you are being prosecuted for causing harm. Likewise if you slander or libel someone. that is not a "limit" on free speech, it is a matter of you violating another's rights.
Which leads to the other major point: The nature of rights is that they are reciprocal. They apply to all of us equally and no right can override or contradict any other right. Any time you see an apparent contradiction or conflict between rights, then at least one of them is not in fact a right.
For example claiming one has a right to a job - that would require forcing someone to provide that job, which violates their rights. Thus there is no such right as a right to a job. This also demonstrates that rights are rights to actions not things. You have a right to pursue work, but no right to force others to give it to you - just as Jefferson very precisely declared the people have a right to pursue happiness, not a right to happiness itself or that anyone must provide it.
When it comes to private property, my right to free speech does not mean I can force you to listen, or force a radio station to broadcast my manifesto, or force a newspaper to print it - all of that violates the rights of others - all of it requires the use of physical force or threat of it. By not letting you walk away, or threatening to cause physical harm in some way - and that is not "speech", it is a violation of rights.
Likewise - no difference in principle - a church or a business has every right to remove you if you violate their rights. And the moment they ask you to leave and you refuse, you are violating their rights through physical force, they are not violating your right to free speech.
Likewise on Facebook and other social platforms (or any web site), you are using someone else's property when you post content. When they delete a post, or otherwise limit what you do or say on their platform, that is their right and it is NOT a violation of your free speech in any way; because to claim you have a right to say whatever you want on their property means you are claiming a right to force them to publish it. Again that means it becomes an issue of force and violating others' rights, and is no longer an issue of your right to free speech.
This is also why it is not censorship for private individuals or businesses to limit what you can say via their property (it is in fact an exercise of their free speech), but only when government prevents you from speaking (on any subject, not just political) even if others would be willing to listen or provide you with a platform.
Which further leads to issues such as “hate” speech. If it remains just speech, no matter how offensive it may be, then it should remain protected. Like any other speech, the moment it threatens force - threatens to violate others’ life or rights or incites others to do so, it is no longer an issue of free speech, but of violating others’ rights!