Thursday, December 27, 2007

Free Speech Under Attack

For libertarians this is an age of paradox.

On one hand, we are winning the economic war, as free market capitalism is on the upswing across the globe. But at the same time we are losing the fight to protect our individual freedoms.

The right to free speech is especially under attack. As a society, we seem to have forgotten why censorship is wrong.

Here's what others have had to say about free speech:

"Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage." -- Winston Churchill

"This is slavery, not to speak one's thought."-- Euripides, Greek tragic poet (480 or 485 B.C. - 406 B.C)

"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed."-- Benjamin Franklin, 1730

"The sooner we all learn to make a decision between disapproval and censorship, the better off society will be... Censorship cannot get at the real evil, and it is an evil in itself."-- Granville Hicks (1901-1982)

"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."-- John F. Kennedy

For more quotes on the evils of censorship, go here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Free market capitalism is on the upswing across the globe???

Where exactly?

Not in Canada certainly!

Miles Lunn said...

I would say free market capitalism is somewhat on the upswing in Europe in the sense that they are not longer electing socialist governments, but even people like Merkel and Sarkozky are only reducing the size of government down to the levels we currently have in Canada, not the levels, I think you advocate Gerry.

As for free speech, I agree 100%, and this is partly why I abhor the Republicans of today who seem to believe individual rights can be ignored when it doesn't suit their interest. It is not just the left who suppresses free speech, the right does too. They just go after different groups, but trying to silence either is wrong.