„The problem of free speech in, both in society in general and on campus in particular, is everyone will say "I believe in free speech, but." The problem is everyone has a different "But!" exemption that they would put on free speech. So the issue really becomes, who has the power to enforce their exemptions to free speech while keeping absolute free speech for themselves?“

2010s, Who's too Weak to Live with Freedom? (2013)

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
Alan Charles Kors photo
Alan Charles Kors46
American academic 1943

Related quotes

Mark Steyn photo

„There's no fine line between "free speech" and "hate speech": Free speech is hate speech; it's for the speech you hate – and for all your speech that the other guy hates. If you don't have free speech, then you can't have an honest discussion.“

—  Mark Steyn Canadian writer 1959

"Stay Quiet and You'll Be Okay" http://www.steynonline.com/6943/stay-quiet-and-youll-be-okay steynonline.com (9 May 2015)

Newton Lee photo

„There is a fine line between free speech and hate speech. Free speech encourages debate whereas hate speech incites violence.“

—  Newton Lee American computer scientist

Counterterrorism and Cybersecurity: Total Information Awareness (2nd Edition), 2015

Salman Rushdie photo

„Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself.“

—  Salman Rushdie British Indian novelist and essayist 1947

Address at Columbia University (1991)
Context: "Our lives teach us who we are." I have learned the hard way that when you permit anyone else's description of reality to supplant your own — and such descriptions have been raining down on me, from security advisers, governments, journalists, Archbishops, friends, enemies, mullahs — then you might as well be dead. Obviously, a rigid, blinkered, absolutist world view is the easiest to keep hold of, whereas the fluid, uncertain, metamorphic picture I've always carried about is rather more vulnerable. Yet I must cling with all my might to … my own soul; must hold on to its mischievous, iconoclastic, out-of-step clown-instincts, no matter how great the storm. And if that plunges me into contradiction and paradox, so be it; I've lived in that messy ocean all my life. I've fished in it for my art. This turbulent sea was the sea outside my bedroom window in Bombay. It is the sea by which I was born, and which I carry within me wherever I go.
"Free speech is a non-starter," says one of my Islamic extremist opponents. No, sir, it is not. Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself.

Northrop Frye photo

„There can be no free speech in a mob: free speech is one thing a mob can't stand.“

—  Northrop Frye Canadian literary critic and literary theorist 1912 - 1991

"Quotes", The Educated Imagination (1963), Talk 6: The Vocation of Eloquence

Voltairine de Cleyre photo

„Anarchism says, Make no laws whatever concerning speech, and speech will be free“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre American anarchist writer and feminist 1866 - 1912

Anarchism & American Traditions (1908)
Context: What has Anarchism to say to all this, this bankruptcy of republicanism, this modern empire that has grown up on the ruins of our early freedom? We say this, that the sin our fathers sinned was that they did not trust liberty wholly. They thought it possible to compromise between liberty and government, believing the latter to be "a necessary evil," and the moment the compromise was made, the whole misbegotten monster of our present tyranny began to grow. Instruments which are set up to safeguard rights become the very whip with which the free are struck.
Anarchism says, Make no laws whatever concerning speech, and speech will be free; so soon as you make a declaration on paper that speech shall be free, you will have a hundred lawyers proving that "freedom does not mean abuse, nor liberty license"; and they will define and define freedom out of existence. Let the guarantee of free speech be in every man's determination to use it, and we shall have no need of paper declarations. On the other hand, so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.

Mike Godwin photo

„The remedy for the abuse of free speech is more speech.“

—  Mike Godwin, book Cyber Rights

Cyber Rights — cited in [DeCandido, GraceAnne A., Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age, Booklist, American Library Association, 94, 22, 1932, August 1998]
Cyber Rights

Geert Wilders photo

„The real hate speech is not allowing free speech.“

—  Geert Wilders Dutch politician 1963

Tweet https://twitter.com/geertwilderspvv/status/787257675952324608 (15 October 2016)

Richard Stallman photo

„Think of "free speech", not "free beer".“

—  Richard Stallman American software freedom activist, short story writer and computer programmer, founder of the GNU project 1953

Free Software

Charles Bradlaugh photo

„Without free speech no search for Truth is possible; without free speech no discovery of Truth is useful; without free speech progress is checked, and the nations no longer march forward towards the nobler life which the future holds for man. Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day; the denial slays the life of the people and entombs the hope of the race.“

—  Charles Bradlaugh British freethinker, and radical politician 1833 - 1891

Speech at Hall of Science c.1880 quoted in An Autobiography of Annie Besant; reported in Edmund Fuller, Thesaurus of Quotations (1941), p. 398; reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).

Richard Stallman photo

„The explanation for "free software" is simple — a person who has grasped the idea of "free speech, not free beer" will not get it wrong again.“

—  Richard Stallman American software freedom activist, short story writer and computer programmer, founder of the GNU project 1953

1990s, Why "Free Software" is better than "Open Source" (1998)

Allen C. Guelzo photo
Ayaan Hirsi Ali photo

„Free speech is the bedrock of liberty and a free society. And yes, it includes the right to blaspheme and offend.“

—  Ayaan Hirsi Ali Dutch feminist, author 1969

Nomad: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations (2010)

„There are no protections of autonomy and free speech.“

—  Charles A. Reich American lawyer 1928 - 2019

The Liberals' Mistake (1987)
Context: Liberals placed an unreasonable amount of faith in large institutions: unions, foundations, big government, large corporations, and universities. These institutions are based on principles that are antithetical to democracy. They are not democratic, they are hierarchical: Someone is at the top and everybody else is at the bottom. Their policies are not made democratically, they are made at the top. These institutions are also not egalitarian. They operate by administrative discretion and authority, not the rule of law: There is no legislature, no group lawmaking body.
The individual in the large organization does not have the kind of constitutional rights that an individual in the society at large has. There are no protections of autonomy and free speech. Employees can be fired for many reasons. We need to constitutionalize large organizations to protect the people within them, to ensure that they can be politically outspoken.

Mitchell Baker photo

„Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech, and you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.“

—  Mitchell Baker Chairwoman; former CEO 1959

cnet.com: "Mozilla CEO Eich resigns after gay-marriage controversy" 3 Apr 2014 http://www.cnet.com/news/mozilla-ceo-eich-resigns-after-controversy/; on the resignation of Brendan Eich, 3 April 2014:

Noam Chomsky photo

„If I have the right to free speech, it doesn't interfere with your right to free speech. But if I have property, that interferes with your right to have that property“

—  Noam Chomsky american linguist, philosopher and activist 1928

Quotes 1990s, 1995-1999, The Common Good (1998)
Context: Property rights are not like other rights, contrary to what Madison and a lot of modern political theory says. If I have the right to free speech, it doesn't interfere with your right to free speech. But if I have property, that interferes with your right to have that property, you don't have it, I have it. So the right to property is very different from the right to freedom of speech. This is often put very misleadingly about rights of property; property has no right. But if we just make sense out of this, maybe there is a right to property, one could debate that, but it's very different from other rights.

Kenan Malik photo
Zechariah Chafee photo

„Speech should be fruitful as well as free.“

—  Zechariah Chafee American judicial philosopher and civil libertarian 1885 - 1957

"Freedom of Speech as I See It Today", Journalism Quarterly, vol. 18 (June 1941), p. 158.

Mark Twain photo

„None but the dead have free speech.“

—  Mark Twain American author and humorist 1835 - 1910

Source: Mark Twain's Notebook (1935), p. 393

Winston S. Churchill photo

„Everyone is in favour of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

"The Coalmining Situation", Speech to the House of Commons (October 13, 1943)
The Second World War (1939–1945)
Source: Google books link https://books.google.com/books?id=hc8pAAAAQBAJ&pg=PT373&lpg=PT373&dq=%22if+anyone+says+anything+back+that+is+an+outrage%22&source=bl&ots=vQG7eKCVNO&sig=FgGJGUVc7MSNY3-hyQrYpC8tiOY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CFEQ6AEwDWoVChMI-J-rpoiWyQIVF9tjCh2cLAel#v=onepage&q=%22if%20anyone%20says%20anything%20back%20that%20is%20an%20outrage%22&f=false

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