Precinct 333 also proposes his own version of the oath:
We are the blogosphere, brothers and sisters, friends and foes, united together in support of freedom. We are diverse voices united in the pursuit of a multiplicity of goals and ideals, based upon our many divergent sets of beliefs and principles. Despite our differences, we together hold firm to this single unifying principle -- freedom of speech is the cornerstone of liberty, and we reject as tyranny efforts by any entity, be it religious, economic, political, or governmental, to regulate or forbid the free exchange of ideas on the internet. We pledge to resist, to the best of our respective abilities, any regulatory scheme which seeks to inhibit or prevent the publication or dissemination of facts and opinions on any matter of public concern, and promise our support to one another in that resistance. We are the blogosphere, and we will not be silenced.I naturally would like to return the favor and endorse his oath but I'm afraid that I can't do it in good conscience.
The problem is that I don't really think freedom of speech is "the cornerstone of liberty". I think law is the cornerstone of liberty. This is why we should respect the law even when we disagree with it. However, this is also why we should take it seriously when the government, the entity charged with enforcing the law, is itself lawless.
This isn't a mere quibble. I really wouldn't risk prison to defend the mere abstraction of "freedom of speech". And I really wouldn't even think it worth the effort to fight against all restrictions on freedom of speech. I'd have to consider each restriction separately. The reason I'm willing to fight in this case is for the law, not for the abstract right.
Now, although I disagree with the principles expressed in the Chair's oath, I agree with his motivation:
There is not solidarity in either of the two oaths [mine and Patterico's]-- each of us is, in effect, a rugged individual going it alone. Unfortunately, that independence makes us easy to pick off. We need to be banded together for mutual support.So if the Chair can come up with an oath that dispenses with debatable principles and concentrates on mutual support, I'll be glad to endorse it.