Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Managing Free Speech

There was an interesting fellow on Charles Osgood's Sunday morning show. He was a business owner who happened to lose a fair amount of stock equity because of a blogger that spread rumours and made several libelous claims about his product. As he said on the show:

Yes I believe in freedom of speech, but somebody needs to manage it.

I think this is the way a lot of people see and think about rights and freedoms. Somebody needs to be in charge to manage it. Essentially, if a right or freedom is centrally directed though, it can be conveniently denied by political and social groups at a whim. Is it really much of a right if it can be denied?

Indeed, can we have freedom that is free? Or does it need to be "managed" by someone?
Practically speaking though, I don't think there exists a freedom that is free. It needs to be managed by a court system or a group of individuals that explicitly state the rights and freedoms of individuals. Even though I do not think there needs to be any group to "manage" First Amendment rights, since the courts can handle defamation on a case by case basis, there does need to be people to outline those rights either initially (Bill of Rights) or in the context of a dynamic government organization in which we live.

Do freedoms need to be managed?

Nobody? Nobody wants to take a stab at this one?
I agree that there needs to be a court system. I would add that there needs to be a Common Law accessible to the common man, and that should strive to reflect Natural Law. Social Pressure can "manage" the majority of deviations.
Freedoms, if managed, become permissions instead, and as such mere obeisance, or worship, of the manager.
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