Democracy: why do we have freedom of speech?

Imagine a king … and imagine the peasants living throughout the surrounding farmlands and hills.

Now, imagine three peasant women: Amy, Beth and Stacy.

Amy and Beth are together, weaving baskets; Stacy is somewhere else.


SCENARIO A – Amy says to Beth, “Stacy is a slut.”
SCENARIO B – Amy says to Beth, “I do not agree with the king’s tax policy.”


Think about these two scenarios and ask yourself, “why did the Framers grant us Freedom of Speech?” For instance, would the king care about Scenario A? Would the king care about Scenario B?



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One response

  1. well, i am not sure where you’d like to go with this discussion, but so far as the history i know shows…people tend to abuse the power they have to advance their own interests, to hide them, etc, especially governments,….so, the right to be able to speak the truth needs to be protected and the tendency to abuse power needs to be prohibited,

    “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.”

    when reading this passage, one has to keep in mind a critical aspect here. “rights” as understood by those who created this document, are inherent. so the constitution, and governments in general, do not give people rights, people already have them so long as they aren’t infringing on other peoples rights. what the bill of rights did was ‘prohibit’ the government from being able to infringe on those rights.

    you could remove my comment if you want and that’s totally legal because this is a private exchange. (aside from the fact that wordpress blogs are “free”) you have the right to censor my speech in essence, because you have private ownership and therefore the liberty to do what you want. i have no right to tell you what to say or do and i have no ability to censor you.

    but let’s say, the government says that movie theaters were prohibited from playing R rated movies…that would be censorship. that would be illegal because it violates the concept of private property.

    so the lesson is that people will most likely have freedom of speech as long as governments are prohibited from supressing it. and we need to do what we can to make sure that rights are protected with or without governments.

    Jesse
    thisisbunk.wordpress.com

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