Null is transitioning from principle-oriented idealistic thinking of his 20s to the highly pragmatic self-interest of the 30s. He has realized, as most adults do, that he didn't actually care about free speech in and of itself as some sort of principle. He cares about being able to say and do what he wants, and while it's easy to rationalize that with principles, the reality is that it is purely self-interest. He's learning that there is no point in fighting for other people's "rights" or being an activist for some cause. He's learning that the abstract of "speech" never actually mattered, only the concrete of his speech, the concrete suppression of it, and his concrete resistance.
Expect a period of depression while he copes with this, then a renewed spirit of vigor as all of the things that made the fight an emotional, long-term struggle disappear and he turns into a simple day-to-day pragmatist dealing with his problems effectively and moving on.
That or he'll kill himself.
Christ, you can weigh a ship down with all this doomer pessimism.All there is is one's own personal power in the face of a hostile universe full of myths of love and longing, but utterly devoid of either. Every friend you make will disappear, eventually, life is a revolving door of people, and any cause you fight for will bite you back in the ass eventually.
And today's population is intolerant of stuff like free speech and the playful chaos we delight in here. Null needs to accept he's a lone cowboy on range full of other lone cowboys, a ghost town in a post-apocalyptic world.