Saturday, August 03, 2019
Reason TV takes on a Left wing, Marxist-leaning meme, "Is Money Speech?"
Eugene Volokh, First Amendment Law Professor, takes up the legal and constitutional question, in the US, takes up the question “Is Money Speech? Free Speech Rules”, for Reason TV (part V in a series).
The general answer is, no, money is not speech (and conversely). You can spend money for your own speech (as to self-publish). There are some limits on contributions to political candidates, and especially with the use of tax-exempt contributions. The video explains the difference between 501c(3) and c(4) (the latter in a PAC).
Nevertheless, there has been controversy in the past over whether blogs might be “illegal campaign contributions”, which I have covered here.
Yet, there is an emerging idea on the Left, somewhat Marxist, that people should not be allowed to use their own money online to bring up old chestnut ideologies (supposedly settled) unless others pay for them (outside of clickbait) as consumers – that this is bullying people in marginalized groups and putting others at risk, and encouraging radicalization of the vulnerable. This notion is roughly called “speech is power”. This has no meaning in US law, but seems to have traction in Europe and now with tech and social media companies. Volokh would shrug the idea off.