Friday, September 28, 2007

A Reminder About What Free Speech Really Means

From Captain Ed:
People keep muddying the central point of free speech, which is a right because of its non-confiscatory, natural state of humanity. Speaking one's mind requires no subsidy, no government grant. It is an innate, natural right springing from the central spirit of what it means to be a sapient human. It follows rationally from acknowledging that men and women have their own thoughts and values, and any government which seeks to encumber them would be tyrannical on its face.

People lose the meaning of its non-confiscatory nature. Freedom of speech does not confer upon anyone the right to be published. Nor does it impose on other citizens the duty to listen or to acknowledge the speech. Most importantly, it does not grant an immunity from criticism for the speech one gives -- because that would also constrain free speech.
Free speech, as I have said many time before, is hard. It is hard because if you truly believe in free speech, then you have to accept that idiots, haters, morons and bigots have a right to speak to. You don't have to listen, but they have just as much right to speak as you.

That is why free speech is hard.

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