Friday, April 26, 2019

I've been Rethinking Immigration

I've had both experiences on AirBnB, which is possibly, a false dichotomy. What I mean is, that I've experienced AirBnB 'as advertised' which is, I've found not a hotel or a hostel, but a home. A habitation I shared with local people whom became my friends for life, gave me recommendations and opened doors for me in my travel experience. In this regard, AirBnB has been the facilitator of some of the best times of my life. It has connected me with strangers, cultures, opportunities.

And the AirBnB that isn't advertised, where some enterprising nobody turns a home into a hostel, there are no real residents, no connection, just a place to flop for cold hard cash while displacing locals from much needed housing. I have not much to say about this experience, suffice to say, I wasn't actually looking for cheap convenient accommodation I was looking for a doorway into the city where I was staying.

I raise AirBnB because I'm a wealthy white westerner, and thus this story is going to be more relateable, more accessible than the narrative of refugees. But also because it's relevant because AirBnB, though I've been lucky and it's certainly possible to have good experiences that are win-win-win for people and communities it is also a broken platform. I don't think it's malicious either, it's just a company built on an idea, a narrative and pursued with enthusiasm without closing the doors to the prisoners dilemma.

And Barcelona where I had my 'bad' AirBnB experience has cracked down since

But I've found myself having to rethink my stance on immigration, where I've had to confront myself being naive.

Here for reference was my previous position:

Targeting the most vulnerable people on Earth as 'a threat' is unethical scapegoating that wastes energy and attention on a non-issue and detracts from actually important issues. Most people have an opinion on asylum seekers that is simply unnecessary for them to hold, they are not likely to ever come across, interact with or be effected by an asylum seeker in their life. It's a debate not over a $10 solution to a $5 problem, but a $10 solution to a non-problem.
Which is in particular to Australia. This was informed by actually spending over a decade and some 5 Prime Ministers involved in the refugee community of Melbourne, a community I love frankly somewhat more-so than my own.

But watching what happened in Europe and the rise of right-wing nationalism, I've been forced to rethink my position. A position I've been rethinking while living in Mexico, where the moronic demagogue to the north still rants and raves about closing the border.

So here's three stories I've devised and some follow up that should illustrate how I've been rethinking immigration.

Story One - Room to Rent in the Rain

You and your partner, your sweet beloved partner (if you need to mentally switch out who you're actually with for this hypothetical to work) are doing an unguided tandem bicycle tour across Europe. This morning you got a flat tire just outside the town you spent the night and repairing it delayed you 30 minutes. Riding through the black forest of Bavaria you lost the route on the map you were following, back tracked, got more lost, the weather changed, the sun began setting and you and your most precious partner suddenly had to ride, lost, through a dark and strange land while being pelted with torrential rain, and they aren't happy and you aren't happy.

Then, a light in the dark. Then more lights. You've come across a small town. You cycle into the city center and the tourist info booth is closed for the evening, but you spot a sign that says (in german) 'room for rent'.

You knock on the cottage door and a friendly man answers it, you enquire about the room and come to an agreement. You are suddenly, wonderfully, relieved of your troubles. You stash your bike around the side under cover, grab your saddlebags, head into your room and strip down out of your cold wet gear.

Then your host walks into the room and sits down in a chair, lighting up a joint. He starts chatting to you, and you and your partner don't know what to make of it. He's asking friendly enough questions, where are you from, what music do you like, have you tried the local wurst, what is your favorite theory of consciousness, what do you make of the glaciers in Greenland...

'Ah' you say, 'if you don't mind we are quite tired, and quite hungry, and in our culture we don't really smoke in someone else's room or watch them change. We'd really like to just eat and go to bed and figure out where to go from here in the morning...' for a moment, your host looks hurt, then he remarks 'ah of course, what do you have to eat? It's share and share alike in our house, I have recently opened up a can of rotten fish and have some pickled cow fetus, let's have a pot luck.'

Without thinking you have impolitely declined 'no that sounds disgusting. We just want to eat some porridge and buttered toast and go to sleep, would you kindly leave us alone.'

Now I'm probably being entirely unfair to Bavarian culture, portraying it quite inaccurately. My own experiences as a disorganized and disoriented cycle tourist in Bavaria were wholly positive and frankenfurtly Germany was a great country to take a break from the general dysfunction of Europe.

What I'm trying to illustrate and probably failing to do through this first story is the disservice we as enthusiastic liberal leaning folks can do to migrant peoples through our enthusiasm for multiculturalism and globalization. Asylum seekers in particular may just be drawn to countries like Australia, the US, Canada, Germany, Britain, France for basic food and shelter, rule of law and relative lack of outright corruption.

They may not be as excited as we are about trying new cuisines, new dress sense, and engaging in a sharing caring pot-luck of cultural exchange. It is GREAT when it works this way, but a lot of people will settle for just getting to a place where they feel confident the state won't come and abduct their husband and rape their wife and burn down their house in the night.

As I write this, Trump has recently 'accepted the resignation' of his Homeland Security head, he criticized for 'not being tough enough' even though she presided over the family separation policy. And admittedly, a lot of El Salvadoran asylum seekers arrived at the US-Mexico boarder having this policy come as a surprise to them, however I am very open to persuasion that there are refugees in this world that would still rather take their chances having the US immigration department separate their family than their home government, or Narco-syndicates family separation policy.

I shouldn't have had to rethink this aspect of my position on immigration though, because I experienced a much more light-hearted version of it when in the early 2000s I spent two years living in a residential college whose speciality was housing international students. At that time it had the following national breakdown: 50/50 Australian and International students, with 30% coming from Malaysia.

Domestically, my college promoted itself as a 'round the world trip while you study at home' promoting as it's chief selling point, the multicultural experience and opportunity. It did somewhat deliver on this, which I'll go into. However I have my suspicions that this housing complex had somewhat of a different promotional strategy for it's international market.

I suspect something like attend this austere and prestigious college attached to Australia's most austere and prestigious tertiary institution. Nothing about globalization or multi-culturalism. Just educational and career outcomes.

Indeed, I read the Student Club Presidents op-ed from the previous year early on, in which he lamented his frustrations that the international utopia was not achieved. Where the multicultural promise delivered, was with all the various representatives of countries that had less than 8 people. There was a Peruvian, an Italian or two, around 5 Japanese, a person from Myanmar, a few from Thailand and so on. There would still be clicks, the Japanese would take tea together and discuss shit in Japanese, the Mauritians would complain about the toast in French, the Americans and Canadians would plan their outings together.

But, then in the dining hall there was the readily observable phenomena of what happened in the Malay contingent, where the tables designed to seat 8 would fill up, but there were more Malays coming out with trays. What to do? pull up more chairs to the table until there was no more elbow room to attack a dish with spoon and fork. Contrastingly, there was and I suspect always will be, a contingent of Australians that live in a state of perpetual resentment that they didn't get into the all-australian drinking cultures of some of the other residential colleges. These guys though were quite visible turds that gave off a turdy odor and people were pretty good at steering clear of them.

It used to frustrate the shit out of me and when I was on the Student Club, I floated the suggestion of doing more allocated seating, or putting an 8 per table limit in force, and I believe I even suggested a reverse psychology proposal of enforcing racial segregation on dining room tables in the hope that I might trick the Malays into rebelling in protest. What I eventually had to accept was that those Malaysian students weren't here to make friends, participate in college and community life. They were here because of inefficiencies and ethno-racist policies in their home countries University system. Undertaking a very expensive education abroad in the hope of achieving better lives or at the very least living up to parental expectations.

Ultimately it was unfair to project our (my) ambitions for multi-culturalism onto unwilling participants. This was a lesson hard learned, but not generalized to when I'm tucking into tasty Ethiopian stewed meats and curried vegetables on the worlds greatest cutlery -injera, I'm not thinking that the sudden proliferation of Ethiopian restaurants in the suburbs devalued by public housing might be the result of necessity rather than migrants setting out with the sole wish to expand the pallets of Melburnians. The multi-cultural benefits of migration are often a bi-product of really shitty circumstances.

Story Twix - Olaf's Broken Heart

Olaf is a poor farmer in his late 20s, he works the land that his family has been working for generations. He only has a rudimentary education but a good kind heart and solid work ethic. As he reaches maturity he is ready to build a shack of his own and a family of his own. His parents will provide him with the plot of land to build on, and Helga is the apple of his eye he wishes to marry, if she will have him. It appears she will but for one tragic complication, she has caught the eye of the local Burgomeister Sven, a wealthy and connected man whom has lands and businesses to his name and his hand in the public coffers. The police are loyal to him, and Olaf is a descendant of the local indigenous people long oppressed by Sven's kind.

When Sven learned of Olaf's designs on Helga for her hand in marriage, Sven set about making life impossible for Olaf. Harassment by the police, fines, hikes in taxation, property inspections, confiscation of property, trumped up charges and illegal detentions, even torture.

Having no legal recourse, no hope, Sven is forced to flee, knowing he will never see his parents or siblings again.

And this is normally where the refugee narrative stops, disenfranchised, oppressed, abused and vulnerable people risking all for a chance at a better life, one of basic human dignity.

However add the detail that Helga was 12 years old, and now I have to reframe my whole narrative. This is what I most often overlook, and I suspect a big part of it is that individuals are on the whole nice and congenial people, generous with what little they have, welcoming and polite and helpful.

Most people don't really have on an individual basis the capacity to demonstrate to me in most contexts what garbage beliefs they may hold in the mix. Particularly since manners specifically dictate how we treat strangers.

Now I've picked this example to be safe, but even in my own training process to become a volunteer English tutor to asylum seekers - my training was taken really seriously, like we learned about torture and trauma and also problems we don't tend to envision arising.

My story I picked as a safe example, or it should be, because Australian law wouldn't recognize child-brides albeit stories like Hana Assafari happened but I assume the 1980 legal situation has now been revoked. But in my training we were told of situations where a man was granted asylum in Australia but would only have one of his wives recognized in Australian law, which is a real headache because it will recognize all his children, but not necessarily their mothers. Most often, as I was taught, the problem was resolved by taking the youngest wife because she would have the longest working life, which in turn creates problems where there is a 50 year old husband too old for manual labor and with no language ability to take desk or service jobs and suddenly the 30 year old wife becomes the main breadwinner in a formerly polygamous patriarchal household.

But I digress, the naive temptation is to assume that the oppressed flee oppression perpetrated by oppressors and that's all there is to the story.

However, what I've had to consider or allow for is the possibility that the oppressed may simply be the losers of conflict between moral equivalents. It is not always the Jains, the Bahaists, the Quakers getting oppressed. That the injustices of the world are not necessarily such that the people living on the streets begging for alms, aren't there because they are simply too honest, too kind, too generous, too tolerant, too peaceful to make it in this dog-eat-dog world, but that they are simply unlucky.

So Olaf secures asylum and it's fine. He isn't permitted to marry a child, he's given access to schooling, community volunteer groups like mine help care and provide for him. He gains access to healthcare, public transport, and welfare. It allows him to retrain, obtain gainful employment, meet a lovely woman his own age, and most importantly gain access to social mobility. A kind of mobility that in his homeland his grandchildren's grandchildren couldn't have hoped to achieve.

More importantly, this asylum and opportunity needs must be extended to the Hildas of the world so they can escape the oppression of Svens and Olafs. Furthermore, I believe there's a moral principle that if a nation like Australia is going to get involved in destabilizing a region, they have a moral obligation to take responsibility for the humanitarian consequences.

But there's a way to fuck up granting asylum, and that appears to be to take 30,000 Olaf's and dump them in public housing creating a ghetto, isolating them from the subset of the community sympathetic to asylum seekers and displacing people who are prime candidates to resent the community. And then basically ignore this community to self-govern, self-police etc. To extend asylum but not opportunity, such that kids drop out of schools, or get married off, and congregate in what will inevitably be called gangs.

There's so many opportunities to fuck it up, and I believe the common thread is ignoring who the asylum seekers are, and doing the minimum necessary to feel good about sweeping these people under the rug.

Asylum seekers by definition are people that have been shaped by the environment of a failed state. Some aspect of this shaping will be positive, like a young intelligent introspective person in a shitty job with an incompetent manager having the time to critically identify all the things that don't work, that deduce the recipe for failure. That's a really useful thing and useful voice to introduce into any society and part of why I detest the lack of corporate or career asylum extended to corporate or governmental whistle blowers.

There's also going to be a contingent that is shaped in problematic ways, people whose total experience of authority is corrupt authority, people who are vindictive, people whose only ambition is to be the one holding the whip next time. There it's not enough to grant food and shelter, but a more resource intensive intervention. Something I'm not confident any country is equipped to handle.

Of course, it's worth pointing out policies like Temporary Protection Visas, and Offshore Processing, and Detention Centers, are great ways to make this problem worse both in social costs and economic costs.

Story Three - "As far as Empires go, this is the big one."

The Judean People's Front, or for that matter the People's Front of Judea never really posed a threat to the occupying Roman Empire. In fact, it would appear that as near as an historical accounting goes, the Isrealites, and indeed Jewish Diaspora, have never surmounted as a credible threat to any empire or even nation state ever with the sole recent exception of the occupation of Palestinian territories.

Mostly though, they've been histories scapegoats it would appear, ironically being the religious tradition that gave us the concept of 'scapegoat'.

By contrast, Rome was the largest empire the world had ever seen, and it's stability largely relied upon it conquering new territories and putting down revolts. I'm not a historian, let alone the kind of historian that would specialize on the Roman Empire, so please just entertain that the simple system of Roman expansion went something like thus:

March beyond the empire's borders. Conquer the local barbarian tribes. Incorporate those barbarian people's into the Roman Army. Pay the Roman Soldiers in conquered lands and grant them citizenship for their service. Repeat indefinitely.

So Roman imperial expansion was kind of a Ponzi scheme of sorts. You paid the soldiers that helped you expand and occupy, by expanding and occupying. Such that I heard somewhere that their were Roman Legionaries manning Hadrian's wall in Britain that were all the way from Palestine. The Roman Army spread Germanic people to North Africa and the Middle-East, and vice versa. It was a multicultural empire, from very early on. Scipio Africanus the Elder, aka Scipio the Great the general who defeated Hannibal in the second Punic War and was also a Consul of Rome, was a black guy.

How did Rome manage multiculturalism? Well, again I'm oversimplifying, as far as I know, Rome didn't have a Bill of Rights or anything, however they were Pagan, the state religion was the Roman Pantheon for which the Planets in our solar system are named, and better known by their Greek equivalents in mythology like Zeus, Hades, Hera, Aphrodite, Ares, Vulcan, Apollo, Hermes etc.

The Pagan traditions are  generally (and I'm deferring to Robert Sapolsky here) much less aggressive, honor-culture type religions and far more tolerant of competing religious ideologies than monotheism. The two big monotheistic cultures in the world at that time being Zoroastrianism, religion of the Persian Empire also notable for it's religious tolerance, and Judaism not noted for it's religious tolerance.

Persia wasn't a threat to Rome because they were basically yesterdays news. Their peak had been back when they were fighting the Greeks in the events of the movie 300. Judaism wasn't really a threat because Judaism was a monotheism of God's chosen people, with a peculiar quirk of being a matrilineal religious tradition that at that time didn't accept converts. It could expand and recruit like Rome did, because it could only expand through reproducing.

Then an innovation came along, a Jewish apocalyptic cult that had suffered the embarrassment of their leading Rabbi being executed set up shop in the Roman empire and under threat of extinction evolved. It allowed Gentiles to convert to this monotheism, and became a radical offshoot of Judaism. Then for reasons I don't understand, but apparently there's a book about it, Emperor Constantine the Great saw the writing on the wall and although having lived his entire life as a Roman Pagan, converted on his death bed to Christianity despite by scholars best guess, him having no real understanding of the content of the religion he converted to and paved the way for Christianity to become the state religion of the now 'Holy Roman Empire'.

And they allegedly at the time of Constantine's death only about 5% of the population of the Roman Empire.

The point of this historical-inspired fiction, is really for me, the mind bending prospect of trying to contemplate how religious freedom can work. There's something intrinsically paradoxical about it, and the more I think about it, even where it does appear to work, I suspect it does because it actually doesn't work, at least not in the way I think it does.

So that word salad aside, let's compare religious freedom to another of FDR's 'four freedoms' the Freedom of Speech.

Freedom of Speech describes a situation where people can say 'I think this' and another can say 'well I think that' and yet another can chime in with 'I disagree with both of you, I think you...' and so forth. That's basically freedom of speech: people are entitled to not only their own opinion but to express it.

And I'm actually not a free-speech absolutist and don't believe anyone actually is. For example, I don't think doctors, financial advisers, lawyers and other professional service people should be entitled to free speech but bound by professional standards and a duty of care. I should be able to sue my financial adviser because of negligent misstatement. Nor should people be able to bear false witness, or commit libel or defamation or whatever without consequence.

However, it is really important that people be able to criticize the king, elected representatives, policy etc. without fear of the state cracking down on them, and I would err on the side of better to have too much freedom to criticize than too little.

What by the earlier analogy does religious freedom sound like? I am thinking that it possibly sounds like this: 'I think this' and another can say 'I know that...' and yet another can say 'I disagree for I know absolutely that'

So let me just hurtle into the bending of my mind like a pretzel. For I am not confident to all or any it will be apparent why this is paradoxical. How to actually describe it, some belief systems aren't a zero-sum game, and I'm not an expert but like Buddhism, Hinduism and from my experience the Quakers. These are like nations that allow dual citizenship, or have built into the dogma ways of handling competing religious claims such that there is a no-compete scenario, like Hindu being flexible enough to view Jesus as just another manifestation of Krishna or Vishnu or something.

But other belief systems are zero-sum games, winner-take-all and they are generally described as Monotheistic belief systems. Here this then becomes the 'freedom of lasagna' or the 'freedom of chocolate cake'. Which is to say, I'm okay with people thinking their mama's lasagna is the best lasagna ever, or their grandma made the best chocolate cake, provided I'm allowed to disagree, which is to say it works provided nobody takes their preference for how their mum or grandma makes certain recipes seriously.

And you know, if someone doesn't like my mum's lasagna because she doesn't use nutmeg in her bechamel sauce, or object to her using bechamel sauce in what is supposed to be an Italian dish, it's easy for me to say 'oh well, more for me.' And a belief like Judaism appears to work that way because it isn't really a religion of the faithful, but of God's chosen people.

Which brings me to cutting off the foreskin, because strictly speaking to me, freedom of religion in my mind would look much like freedom of marriage. In that, a person starts out as a child and their concerns of primacy could be lasagna and chocolate cake and toys and playing in the park and cricket and soccer and ballet and bikes for christmas and the wiggles and whatever and then sooner rather than later they hit 16-18 and they might begin the exploratory process of figuring out how to select an appropriate partner to spend a good chunk of their lives with. In the same way, I would argue that true religious freedom should work the same, a religious belief should no more be imposed on a child as a betrothal.

However, I'm confident exists such people that might become agnostic or atheist in their adulthood that don't resent, but appreciate being raised in some religious tradition. Furthermore I can imagine people who appreciate being raised in a religious tradition, and continue that faith throughout their lives. And of course, I do actually know some people who appreciate being raised in one religious tradition, and converted to another in adulthood.

But again, this seems like a 'no-harm-no-foul' requirement for religious freedom to work, which is another way of saying that as near as I can determine, freedom of religion only works provided you don't take your own religion seriously. Which isn't religious freedom, the paradox being that 'freedom of religion' and a policy of religious tolerance is in itself an encroachment on religious freedom.

I'm currently in Mexico, a country named for the Mexicas aka the Aztecs, that also played host to the Mayas and Olmecs. When the Spanish conquistadors came they burned many irreplaceable, cultural artifacts for being a blasphemous affront to the one true faith. Christianity has a long history of intolerance extending right into the present day, from the Conquistadors in Spain and the Spanish Inquisition, the Guy Fawkes' Gun Powder plot, to the Reformation, to the Irish Troubles that might kick off again depending on what happens with Brexit and of course Neo-Nazi groups and whatnot.

Norman Rockwell who was so inspired by FDR's 'Four Freedoms' speech that he made four paintings depicting a freedom each, presents a telling depiction in fact of religious freedom: 

By Norman Rockwell - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain,

Credit where credit's due, FDR's words up top of the image speaks to a greater truth that there are probably as many Gods and as many faiths as their are people upon the Earth each with their own take. But speaking contemporarily Rockwell's take on 'freedom of religion' is very white. This doesn't look like peoples of many different religious beliefs coming together, but just a snapshot of people of the same faith at prayer during a Sunday service. Which it could be, it also could be what it perhaps meant in FDR and Rockwell's time, which was a beautiful vision of Protestants, Mormons, Quakers, Catholics, Methodists, Episcopalians, Pentacostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and all 50 shades of Christianity getting along together. People burying the hatchet on the minor differences of interpretations of what is in essence the same thing.

Not a more radical conception of freedom of religion to embrace Hinduism, Judaism, Sikh, Islam, Jainism, Ba'hai, Hoodoo, Voodoo, Tao, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Shinto, and not to mention all future religions that are yet to be created such as Scientology and Jedi relative to FDR's speech.

Christianity, by the scripture is an awful intolerant religion that can turn violent over disputes equivalent to the use of nutmeg in a lasagna recipe. It appears that 'Christendom' has simply learned through exhaustion, not to take itself so seriously, particularly after the events of World War II.

And religious freedom already doesn't exist where we say it does, largely because many religions are not limited to being a personal thing to 'each according to the dictates of his own conscious' but instead lay out laws for the proper governance of society that are admittedly often unsystematic and self-contradictory and thus require a degree of personal interpretation and community consensus.

But Australia for example does not permit a lucid interpretation of the bible that says a true believer can own slaves, or treat women as chattel, or sell their daughter, or sick bears on youths for making fun of your bald spot. The law would stop you, throw the book at you. Thus while people have the freedom ostensibly to believe whatever they like, they are not free to actually act on that belief.

Which is a doozy of a pickle, and why I'd say, well, you can't really have religious freedom. Or perhaps you can only have it up to a point. I kind of like the 'religion is like a penis' rules which is that it's great that you have one, but I don't need to hear about it, don't pull it out in public and don't shove it down a kid's throat.

The relevance to immigration is that I feel we have to acknowledge the limits of religious freedom in concrete terms based on an observation of what works and what doesn't. In that context, I would now believe it fair to offer a kind of contractual dilemma to make salient a kind of conditional asylum.

What makes a particular geographic region a place of asylum is an acknowledgement that the community within has learned for the most part, not to take religion particularly seriously. Such that we ask people not to get outraged or indignant at the existence of gentiles, heathens, infidels, apostates and athiests (and most don't). Not to be phased by blasphemes or sacrilege. And most importantly to put most of our energy into getting along with our neighbors and not pleasing our Gods.

I can sense most people would balk at this as religious discrimination, except that that line is arbitrary, we don't allow people to act on their religious convictions that they shall not suffer a witch to live, or that adulterers be put to death. It's really to clarify the nature of asylum, such that we might say 'Okay Mr Gibson, we can offer you safety from sectarian violence and persecution, child marriage, the Spanish Inquisition, narco-cartel violence, fascism and climate change driven ecological disasters and food insecurity... but we cannot offer asylum for what you say the one true God requires of you for your immortal soul. That kind of asylum might actually be found in the kind of countries that can't protect you from all the material, physical threats. We're happy to take you, but you won't be able to practice these aspects of your religion, namely firebombing Synagogues and Mosques, murdering obstetricians who practice abortions, censoring media that you feel blasphemes against your beliefs etc. If you can't consciously forego these practices and put your soul in jeopardy we feel it best you keep looking for a more suitable asylum.'

I guess what I've had to reconsider is basically the degree of clarity needed in the rules of the game, previously my position was limited to: the Australian government should stop trying to 'send a message' to asylum seekers that we will turn back the boats, or that 'we decide who comes into our country' and so forth. Largely because, and I still believe this, when it comes to people seeking asylum the message you would have to send to deter people from fleeing murderous, genocidal regimes with corrupt institutions and torture, from wanting to come here would require us to become equally horrible places to the ones they are fleeing.

Now though, my position would be that there is value in sending a message to say 'yes this is a safe place to seek refuge, but the tribalism has to fucking stop.' What I mean by tribalism is double standards, so harking back to story 2 where Olaf and Sven are actually pretty close to moral equivalents just that in their home context Olaf is losing and Sven is winning.

A universal standard is, we can all each make lasagna exactly how we like it. Tribalism is, it's okay for me to persecute you, but not for you to persecute me because I have the correct recipe for lasagna and you do not.

Of the 'four freedoms': Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear. I suspect the last two are not ethical to promise anyone given that they barring massive technological developments are not within the capacity of any state to deliver. Freedom of Religion I would be tempted to replace with a science, like 'Freedom of Philosophy' and for those who may not be up on their etymology 'Philosophy' is literally the love of wisdom, or the pursuit of the good life. Whether that then is informed by religious traditions or not is up to the individual, but to me it would provide a necessary buffer between an individuals pursuit of happiness and their sense of entitlement to extralegal systems of behavior.

Again I don't actually believe in a literal freedom of Speech. I don't believe it transcends a duty of care, but nor do I believe in essentially limitless duties of care where I or anyone else become responsible for other's emotional states for example.

Basically, the conversation on who to exclude in matters like immigration, and even organisational hiring or romantic relationships need to be had, and it can't be that the only people at the table speaking up are the racists, bigots and uninformed.

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