Freedom of speech is a fundamental right in the United States and many other countries around the world. It is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and protects citizens from censorship by the government. In recent years, however, there has been a growing concern about freedom of speech and its role in society. This discussion will explore the concept of free speech in-depth and discuss its implications for the modern age.
There is huge controversy whether free speech can be progressive, specially using the U.S. as the case study (Seidman 2219). While Seidman asserts that free speech cannot be progressive, at least in the U.S. context, there is a well-researched debate behind it. United States has a huge baggage with reference to free speech that needs to be addressed before enjoing the fruits of free speech in the modern age (Seidman 2219). First, it is important to understand the definition of free speech. Free speech is the right to express your opinions and ideas without fear of retribution from the government or other individuals. It protects citizens from censorship and allows for open dialogue and debate on controversial topics. Free speech is a cornerstone of democracy and is essential for ensuring that all voices are heard.
Despite its importance, free speech is not without controversy. Many argue that it can be used to harm others or that it should be limited to protect people from offensive or harmful speech. Others claim that free speech is a tool for white supremacy and hate speech. These arguments raise important questions about the role of free speech in society. Many people have taken advantage of free speech to hate and spread discord among people (Vats & Dutta 156). Therefore, free speech is quite controversial in the modern age due to the challenge of regulating it in the global context.
The United States, as a democratic country, must protect freedom of speech. In the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it is stated that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” This amendment was written to protect citizens from government censorship and ensure that all voices can be heard. It is a fundamental right that should be defended at all costs. Howie argues that free speech is a prerequisite to the enjoyment of other freedoms such as freedom of expression, conscience, association among others. Therefore, it should be protected in the modern age as a way of paving way for other freedoms and liberties.
While free speech should be protected, it should also be used responsibly. Citizens should be aware of the potential harm that can come from offensive or harmful speech. It is also important to remember that free speech does not mean freedom from consequences. If you say something that is considered hateful or offensive, you may face backlash from the community.
Ultimately, the debate over free speech comes down to a question of balancing freedom and safety. How much freedom should we give up in order to ensure that people are safe from harm? And who gets to decide what is considered harmful or offensive speech? These are difficult questions that require a thoughtful approach.
In conclusion, free speech is a fundamental right that should be protected in the modern age. It plays an important role in democracy and allows for open dialogue and debate on controversial topics. However, it is not without controversy and raises difficult questions about freedom and safety. The society must carefully balance these two values to find the best solution for our society.
Howie, Emily. “Protecting the Human Right to Freedom of Expression in International Law.” International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, vol. 20, no. 1, 2017, pp. 12–15.
Seidman, Louis, M. “Can Free Speech be Progressive?” Columbia Law Review, vol. 118, no. 7, 2018, pp. 2219-2250.
Vats, Anjali, and Dutta, Mohan. “Locating Freedom of Speech in an Era of Global White Nationalism.” First Amendment Studies, vol. 54, no. 2. 2020, pp. 156-180.