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Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you ... - Luke 6:27

This is slavery, not to speak one's thought. - Euripides, The Phoenician Women

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. - Voltaire

If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. - George Washington

Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. - Benjamin Franklin

If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. - Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. - First Amendment to the United States Constitution

They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty. - William O. Douglas, Beauharnais v.Illinois (dissenting)

If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence. - Louis D. Brandeis, Whitney v. California

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. - United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible. ... Two things form the bedrock of any open society - freedom of expression and rule of law. If you don't have those things, you don't have a free country. - Salman Rushdie

If you can't write freely and if you can't speak freely in your country, you can be sure that you are living in a very primitive country! - Mehmet Murat ildan

Why or why not

A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom. - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

If we do not believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we do not believe in it at all. - Noam Chomsky

Actually, I am a coward. I say only what is safe to say, and I criticise only what is permissable to criticise. - Murong Xuecun

Imagination is the life of mental freedom. - Kahil Gibran

Freedom is always the freedom of the dissenter (Freheit ist immer die Freiheit der Andersdenkenden)" - Rosa Luxemburg

Baron Humboldt asked Jefferson: "Why are these libels allowed? Why is not this libelous journal suppressed, or its editor at least, fined and imprisoned?"
Jefferson: "Put that paper in your pocket, Baron, and should you hear the reality of our liberty, the freedom of our press, questioned, show this paper, and tell where you found it."

"In general, opinions contrary to those commonly received can only obtain a hearing by studied moderation of language, and the most cautious avoidance of unnecessary offence, from which they hardly ever deviate even in a slight degree without losing ground: while unmeasured vituperation employed on the side of the prevailing opinion, really does deter people from professing contrary opinions, and from listening to those who profess them." - John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

"With regard to freedom of speech there are basically two positions: you defend it vigorously for views you hate, or you reject it and prefer Stalinist/fascist standards. It is unfortunate that it remains necessary to stress these simple truths." - Noam Chomsky, On Anarchism

"There might, Gentlemen, be an impropriety in my taking notice, in this Address to you, of an anonymous production, but the manner in which that performance has been introduced to the army, the effect it was intended to have, together with some other circumstances, will amply justify my observations on the tendency of that Writing. With respect to the advice given by the Author, to suspect the Man, who shall recommend moderate measures and longer forbearance, I spurn it, as every Man, who regards liberty, and reveres that justice for which we contend, undoubtedly must; for if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter." - George Washington

"A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable." - Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium

"Without freedom of speech there is no modern world, just a barbaric one." - Ai Weiwei

"Beyond all the other reasons not to do it, free speech assaults always backfire: they transform bigots into martyrs." - Glenn Greenwald

PLAYBOY: You've said you weren't an anti-Semite when you joined the party and you write in your book that you had many Jewish friends in your school days. How could you tolerate their persecution?
SPEER: By depersonalizing them. The people who were deprived of their jobs, who were hounded from the professions, whose property was confiscated and who were finally dragged off to the concentration camps gradually became abstractions to me, not human beings with families and aspirations and worries and needs like anyone else. It shames me to admit that these people disappeared from my life and my thoughts as if they had never existed. If I had continued to see them as human beings, I could not have remained a Nazi. I did not hate them; I was indifferent to them. My crime was far worse because I was not an anti-Semite.
PLAYBOY: You never had any qualms of conscience whatever about the treatment of the Jews?
SPEER: No. As the anti-Semitic campaign escalated, my conscience was progressively calloused and blunted. Of course, one's conscience does not just cease to exist overnight; it is slowly eroded over the years, eaten away day by day. anesthetized by a multiplicity of little crimes Things that would have shocked and horrified me in 1934, such as the assassination of opposition leaders, the persecution of the Jews, the incarceration and torture of innocent men in concentration camps, I tolerated as un-fortunate excesses in 1935; and things I couldn't have stomached in 1935 were palatable a few years later. This happened in one way or another to all of us in Germany. As the Nazi environment enveloped us, its evils grew invisible—because we were part of them.
PLAYBOY: How could a man of your intelligence and sensibility allow himself to remain part of so evil a system, how-ever gradually it enveloped you?
SPUR: There is, unfortunately, no necessary correlation between intelligence and decency; the genius and the moron are equally susceptible to corruption. Almost 200 years ago, Goethe wrote in Iphigenie nut Tauris that even "the best man" finally "becomes accustomed to cruelty" and "in the end makes a law of that which he despises." As far as sensibility is concerned, I would have been shocked and outraged if I had seen some hoodlum throw a brick through a Jewish store window in 1930. But on the day after Kristallnacht in 1938, the great pogrom in which dozens of synagogues and thousands of Jewish homes and businesses were burned and looted. I strolled by the smoldering ruins of a Berlin synagogue, and my only reaction was to be aesthetically offended by the ruins spilling over onto the Fasanenstrasse. That was all; I was bothered only by the litter. The memory of that day is one of the most painful of my life. What makes it worse is that on Kristallnacht, Hitler crossed a Rubicon: barbarous as his treatment of the Jews had been, I don't think even he had contemplated their physical extermination until then. More was shattered than glass that night.
Censorship in the West is privatized.

Facebook and Youtube have been particularly problematic when it comes to the censorship of ultra-nationalists, and people will find themselves walking a thin line to avoid getting banned. Certainly you can reach more people using these sites, but you ultimately end up censoring your message, and sooner or later you still get banned. ...

This being the case I suggest an exodus of Nationalists from Facebook to VK, this is not going to be easy as West Europeans are extremely docile and put up with humiliating speech codes that dictate that they quietly accept the genocide that is being prepared for them. So while this might be a futile effort I feel like it’s my duty to give it a try regardless.

There is no free speech because everyone with a dissenting opinion is silenced by threats or force.

A right with no effective means of enforcement would merely be a nominal right, not an actual one.

Assange discussed the limit to the freedom of speech, saying, "[it is] not an ultimate freedom, however free speech is what regulates government and regulates law. That is why in the US Constitution the Bill of Rights says that Congress is to make no such law abridging the freedom of the press. It is to take the rights of the press outside the rights of the law because those rights are superior to the law because in fact they create the law. Every constitution, every bit of legislation is derived from the flow of information. Similarly every government is elected as a result of people understanding things".

Assange consideres Wikileaks a protection intermediary. Rather than leaking directly to the press, and fearing exposure and retribution.

The following countries have ratified (signed) the UN Declaration of Human Rights:
The purpose of this article is to present in coherent order the considerations, from voices noted for sincerity and truth, why Freedom of Speech is important and worth preferring over attempts to moderate speech. I have avoided apologetic arguments which might win over some minds more quickly, but which seem to allow that people have the right to decide whether or not to impinge on the speech rights of others; Since no one has the right to impose limitations on the speech rights of another, those arguments are conceptually counterproductive. Instead, arguments giving conceptual form to a the certainty and simplicity of human rights to speech have been used.

  pageloads since August 19 2017