On Freedom of Expression (Free Speech)

I wonder how far back in history this “idea” of freedom of expression goes? 10,000 years? Further?

Because I’m confident there was a point where the only confines for what we now call “freedom of expression” were our evolutionary and biological challenges. In short, I think the ideology we keep trying to define in our society IS a restriction on freedom of expression (and speech) in and of itself.

We keep trying to tell each other what is, and isn’t “okay” to say … and when it is and isn’t “okay” to say it (or express it via some other means).

I’ve always asked the question…

Why do we need some document to tell us that freedom of expression is okay?

The answer?  For those that actually want to squash the right to express ourselves (speech or otherwise) in the first place. This implies (to me) that there are some of our species that would us our expression against us (through some propaganda or other means).

What we like and don’t like to express IS a form of expression in and of itself, no? So let’s just all stop, FULL stop, expressing ourselves then. Problem solved, no more debate. We will (all) walk around like silent zombies.

Oh, wait, we can’t do that now can we? But some of us WANT to be the ONLY ones who can speak, express etc… so long as “others” don’t get to.

Mill had produced an excellent set of ideas along these lines. In fact, he inspired my writing here: http://dailyreckoning.com/the-new-face-of-liberty-in-the-digital-age/

Maybe we just can’t handle true freedom of expression, with all of the good (and bad) consequences that will bring? That might be why we keep debating it, arguing about it, and keep trying to dominate other groups with the idea.

I don’t know the answer, but I do wonder who might be afraid to express their version of it in our current society.

Written as a comment on this post.

Are We Sure We Want National Security?

National Security.

Those words seem to promote a warm, fuzzy feeling in most people.

But do we really want National Security?

Because with a country of 300 million plus people, there have to be sacrifices to the way we live in order to achieve true National Security.

Do we want to sacrifice?

Do we want national security?  Or do we want our freedom?  Because you can’t have both existing in a country of this size at the same time…it’s impossible (or is it? can we?).

So where do you draw the line? (think:  body scanners in airports as just one of many examples)  Where do you stop giving up your personal freedoms in the name of national security?

And once those freedoms are gone, they’re gone…look at the rest of the world.