Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Free Speech Saves Lives

The problem in Libya is not the West in general. Look at the images - if you can bear it - of those men dragging Ambassador Stevens to death. They’re all wearing Western clothes, and the man dragging him has his mobile phone clasped in his mouth.

There may be Western clothes in Libya, but what there isn’t is a history of free speech. Free speech is pacifying. Yes, it allows you to spread vileness - but it also allows vileness to be countered with argument, amendment, correction, and apology if necessary. It may whip up strong feelings, but it also disseminates them equally effectively.

More to come at Quadrant Online (quite possibly).

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