Saturday, November 1, 2014

Another itteration of Quis custodiet ipsos custodes - Who guards the guardians? A continuation of the exploration of free speech - and my sense that when free speech is limited for some all are at risk.

Last month I posted an article on free speech issues. And here is another interesting exploration of the topic. As I see it, free speech is closely related to the freedom of religion; without them Buddha Dharma may not have spread to the US and the West, and the many forms of Dharmic practice would probably not flourish here.

"Today, content is increasingly the explicit justification for restricting speech. The argument used, especially in colleges, is that “words hurt.” Thus, universities, parliaments, courts and various international bodies intervene promiscuously to restrict hurtful or offensive speech—with the results described above. In the new climate, hurtful speech is much more likely to be political speech than obscene speech.

The definition of political speech has changed too. The U.S. Supreme Court has expanded it to include nonspeech actions, such as nude dancing."

Here are the article's conclusions:

"Today, both sorts of protection for speech—legal and social—are weaker than before in both countries. This year, official regulation of the press was passed into U.K. law for the first time since 18th-century juries nullified press prosecutions. These new restraints enjoyed the backing not just of all the parties but apparently of the public as well.

In the U.S., the case of Mann v. Steyn, let alone a hypothetical case involving Quran-burning, has yet to be decided. But Democrats in the Senate are seeking to restrict political speech by restricting the money spent to promote it. And in the private sector, American corporations have blacklisted employees for expressing or financing certain unfashionable opinions. In short, a public culture that used to be liberal is now “progressive”—which is something like liberalism minus its commitment to freedom.

The U.S. and Britain have long thought of themselves as, above all, free countries. If that identity continues to atrophy, free speech will be the first victim. But it will not be the last."

For the full article see: