FPQ#42 Freedom of Expression

Do you feel that in today’s world — and perhaps in the part of the world in which you live — the freedom to articulate and express opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction is being threatened?

Throughout history it has been the practice of those in power to control the freedom of expression of those less powerful. Autocrats and dictators wield the suppression of free speech like a horsewhip to subjugate and oppress. The voice of dissent is seen as a threat to power and therefore curbed as soon as it is raised. Even governments that resulted from revolutions have been guilty of this. The Tiananmen Square incident is one example.

Usually it is rulers or governments who try to gag their subjects. Sometimes, however, the public takes the law into its own hands and suppresses the expression of whatever the majority thinks is detrimental to society. An example of this is the witch hunts of Salem.

In present times the internet and social media have taken freedom of speech to unparalleled heights. You are free to express your opinions anytime, anywhere. Yet this can lead to retaliation. This is quite natural since ” To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”(Newton’s 3rd law of motion). This retaliation can take ugly forms. I read somewhere that a young man was lynched by some radicals for expressing on social media views which they did not deem appropriate.

Censorship continues in some parts of the world. Keeping people ignorant and uninformed is an effective way of keeping them under control. Not allowing opinions to be heard is even more effective.

It is sad that human civilization has advanced so far yet freedom of expression is still threatened in many parts of the world.

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10 thoughts on “FPQ#42 Freedom of Expression

  1. Sometimes it is better to curb too much freedom of speech. Specially when people are spewing hate speech. Otherwise I agree. We should be free to express our opinions as long as we are not hurting innocent people.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am most concerned about the disappearance of quality journalism. Social media is not a substitute for it, but that may someday be about all that is left. In the U.S., more than 2,000 newspapers have closed in the last 15 years. Half of the journalistic jobs have disappeared in the last 10 years. It’s alarming.

    Liked by 1 person

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