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Wednesday, May 6 - 6:37pmSanction this postReply
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In looking very closely at the framing documents to derive constitutional intent, something required for all amendments from an Article V convention, I came to a conclusion that is very reasonable. The Declaration of Independence defines unalienable rights of the people, and their right to alter or abolish government destructive to those rights. Article V is the codified intent of "alter or abolish".

 

If the framers intended for the people to alter or abolish government powerful enough to be destructive to unalienable rights, they intended for the people to be powerful enough to effectively do that. HOW, did the framers intend for the people to actually have that power? Only one answer came to mind. The framers intended for the people to be adequately unified to have the power of their numbers to alter or abolish.

 

What then, did the framers intend to serve the purpose of enabling such unity?

 

Only one answer came to mind. Freedom of speech.

 

This, logically is an extension of natural law which indicates that free speech must exist so people can share AND understand information vital to survival.

 

Today, obvious to anyone who has tried to share vital information, no sharing or understanding significant to inform the mass populations we have can be effected. Accordingly, the ultimate purpose of free speech is abridged, and basically has been since the First Amendment was written. The First Amendment does not define that free speech has any purpose. Good and bad speech are equal despite the fact that the Declaration of Independence defines that Life is a prime unalienable right. Seems this could lead to a constitutional disaster, if it is not already upon us.



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Thursday, May 7 - 6:29pmSanction this postReply
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Speech is an action, and accordingly the right to freedom of speech falls under the right to freedom of action, which in turn is justified by the right to life. 

 

"The right life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action -- which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life.  (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)" (Rand, "Man's Rights," The Virtue of Selfishness, pg. 93-94.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"The Declaration of Independence stated that men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."  Whether one believes that man is the product of a Creator or of nature, the issue of man's origin does not alter the fact that he is an entity of a specific kind -- a rational being -- that he cannot function successfully under coerion, and that rights are a necessary condition of his particular mode of survival.

 

"The source of man's rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity.  A is A -- and Man is Man.  Rights are conditions of existence required by man's nature for his proper survival.  If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work.  If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational." (Atlas Shrugged.)

 

"To violate man's rights means to compel him to act against his own judgment, or to expropriate his values.  Basically, there is only one way to do it: by the use of physical force.  There are two potential violators of man's rights: the criminals and the government.  The great achievement of the United States was to draw a distinction between these two -- by forbidding to the second the legalized version of the activities of the first."  (Ibid., pg. 94-95)

 

In short, the purpose for freedom of speech is the same as the purpose for freedom of action -- to survive and prosper. 



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Post 2

Thursday, May 7 - 8:49pmSanction this postReply
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I agree with Bill's statement (and Rand's).

 

But to put freedom of speech in a political context one can work this logical chain:

 

  • The purpose of government is to protect individual rights
  • The constitution is where moral rights are expressed as legal rights and make the foundational basis for the law and describe the government
  • Government must make and enforce those specific laws that define the actions that would violate individual rights
  • Representative governments are those where chosen (elected) representatives make and administer the laws
  • To elect the representatives the people must be able to freely think, express those thoughts (speech & press) and to assemble (political free association)


Post 3

Thursday, May 7 - 10:32pmSanction this postReply
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You are absolutely correct, Steve!  Without freedom of speech, the better ideas cannot replace the poorer ones, and the better policies in government cannot replace the poorer ones.  This is why totalitarian regimes such as Communism, Fascism and Islamic theocracy oppose  freedom of speech.  They don't believe that their ideology can withstand the test of open debate and discussion.

 

The most vicious and virulent opponents of free speech are the Islamists, who condemn people to death simply for voicing opinions that conflict with their religion.  Any expressed disagreement with their outrageous dogma is considered blasphemy and therefore deserving of a death sentence.  Political activist Pamela Geller has in just the last few days been threatened with death, because of her opposition to Islam, even though she resides in the United States, which has a First Amendment as part of its Constitution.  The venomous hatred that Islamist have for anyone who opposes their religion has no national boundaries.  What we need to do, ever more urgently now, is stand up for free speech and not be cowed by threats of violence.  We need to assert our rights proudly and resolutely!  Nothing less will do!

 

(Edited by William Dwyer on 5/08, 12:25am)



Post 4

Friday, May 8 - 9:32amSanction this postReply
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When I heard about that Pam Geller thing, and heard liberal's saying things like, "Of course she has the right, BUT she should have more respect, blah, blah, blah" Or, "She has the right BUT it is like throwing fuel on the fire

 

My thought was very different.  When the Islamists are threatening, and in some cases actually killing people for these cartoons, that means it is time for EVERYONE to start making cartoons and flood the news media and the internet with them and not stop.  There isn't any of the mean-spirited, irrational aspects of Islam that shouldn't be severely dissected and ridiculed.



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Post 5

Friday, May 8 - 10:28amSanction this postReply
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Exactly, Steve!  Observe the difference between the responses to the Charlie Hebdo incident in France and the response to the Texas cartoons here in the United States.  In France, people were saying "I am Charlie Hebdo."  They were supporting the cartoonists.  But in this country, some prominent people, including Donald Trump (who claims he's running for president) and Greta Van Susteren, a commentator and news anchor on Fox News, have criticized Geller and company for inciting Islamists to violence, thereby blaming the intended victims.

 

What we need to do is exactly what you suggested -- print and publish as many cartoons as possible depicting Muhammad; otherwise, we've allowed them to intimidate us.  Observe that the Islamists want us to respect their religion by not insulting the prophet Muhammad, but are unwilling to respect even the most basic right to life of those who disagree with them. 

 

(Edited by William Dwyer on 5/08, 10:29am)



Post 6

Tuesday, May 19 - 2:08pmSanction this postReply
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Very good, these posts are confirming that free speech does have the societal purpose of assuring unity required to alter or abolish government destructive to unalienable right.

 

Of course it has many other purposes, but its ultimate purpose is for survival, and life is the ultimate unalienable right, so all things are reasonably consistent in the assertion that the ultimate purpose of free speech is to enable the unity needed to alter or abolish.

 

Now, since the first amendment does not directly state this, but it is indirectly defined through inference and deduction of the Declaration of Independence, the origins of the "unalienable rights".

 

I have friends that are Indigenous Americans.  One specifically, with Seneca ancestry brought me a phrase which a profound societal, philosophical doctrine surrounding the human functions of free speech.  It is called "The Greater Meaning Of Free Speech".  From it I derived the legalistic purpose of free speech.  It goes like this.

 

From the practice of free speech between people, an understanding can be created.  From the understanding can come; forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance, respect, trust, friendship and love, protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

 

There were very likely loyalist factions that complained bitterly about the inclusion of such philosophy in the 1776 document, despite its obvious logical connections to what became constitutional intent.  Clearly, government has a duty to not just allow all speech, but to empower that speech which creates the kind of unity that can alter or abolish it IF it becomes destructive to unalienable rights.

 

Of course the implications of this are huge.  This apparent deficiency of the First Amendment has created political disasters that threaten unalienable rights widely, on various levels.

 

Accordingly, the act of altering or abolishing, which is codified as Article V, needs to be undertaken.  And, it seems that this prime constitutional right enabling the needed unity is a logical place to start.

 

The Greater Meaning of Free speech will set an example of what kind of speech the government must empower to be shared to foster the type of unity that WILL alter or abolish is government ever shows a destructive tendency towards those vital rights.

 

Shall we extend the consistency established her into a paradigm of recognition of the abridging of the PURPOSE of free speech.



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Post 7

Tuesday, May 19 - 6:45pmSanction this postReply
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Clearly, government has a duty to not just allow all speech, but to empower that speech which creates the kind of unity that can alter or abolish it IF it becomes destructive to unalienable rights.

Government doesn't "allow" free speech.  The first amendment specifically prohibits the government from stopping free speech.

 

If government were to "empower" some speech but not other speech, it would be interfering with the freedom of speech.  Freedom is freedom from interference.  Nowhere in the constitution, or in Objectivist thought, is there a call for a government duty to promote forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance, respect, trust, or friendship and love.

----------

 

Forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance, respect, trust, friendship and love are things that belong to people - not governments.  There are only limited ways you can use those terms when referring to a proper government.  For example, a government based on individual rights would never tolerate those who initiate force.  It would not accept criminal behavior or trust a convicted criminal in place of court judgments.  But for the most part those are individual human responses.

 

The purpose of the constitution is to limit the government powers and structures to those that protect individual rights.  And that means that the individuals will be able to exercise their right to their life, to act in liberty, and be free to pursue their happiness.  The government should stand as an enduring, stable, sharp line between choice and those things that take away choice.

------------------

Accordingly, the act of altering or abolishing, which is codified as Article V, needs to be undertaken. And, it seems that this prime constitutional right enabling the needed unity is a logical place to start.

Article V states the way that the constitution can be amended.  The unity a society needs is a modicum of agreement on valid basic moral and political beliefs. That can't be generated by the constitution whose only proper job is acting to define a government that will protect individual rights.  It isn't a proper or practical function of a government.  It is what is located in the minds of individuals.

 

(Edited by Steve Wolfer on 5/20, 3:58pm)



Post 8

Tuesday, May 26 - 1:56pmSanction this postReply
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Hmm, "prohibited from stopping" is a little to close to allowing hair splitting on an issue as important as this.  But I know your point is technically true.

 

It is people that unify and the greater meaning of free speech enables that

 

Steve Wolfer wrote:

"Foregiveness, tolerance, acceptance, respect, trust, friendship and love are things that belong to people not government"

 

Yes, but it is the people that must be unified to alter or abolish.  Government has enabled corporate media to have the solitary power to reach the entire nation, and they will not share anything outside of their agenda.  Such is an abridging of the obvious purpose of free speech.

 

In the current situation, the people cannot alter or abolish this government which is fast becoming destructive to unalienable rights,



Post 9

Tuesday, May 26 - 3:58pmSanction this postReply
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Seems that the semantics should not get in the way here.  Too important.  Prohibiting stopping is for all intents and purposes is the same as allowing.  I do see your technical point however.

 

 

Steve Wolfer wrote:

"Forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance, respect, trust friendship and love are things that belong to people - not governments".

 

I've already established that free speech has a reasonable, indirectly stated purpose.  The government has first given individual rights to corporations, who have then created national broadcast networks which serve exclusively the agenda of government and commerce.  This is an abridging of the INTENT of purpose of free speech to enable unity adequate to alter or abolish. 

 

Steve Wolfer wrote:

"Article states the way that the constitution can be amended.  The unity a society needs is a modicum of agreement on basic valid moral and political beliefs."

 

The intent of the constitution is stated in part by the Declaration of Independence which proceeded it.  When Article V appears as the codification of "alter or abolish" this is clear.

 

The constitutions Article V states:

"shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as a part of this constitution."

 

Accordingly, pursuant to that, the constitution applies mechanistic aspects and a PROPER job has all amendments having constitutional intents.  According to Lincoln in 1859, "the people are the rightful masters of the congress and the courts", which means that by his interpretation of Article V, the people of 3/4 of the states can amend without congress or the courts having any influence.  This seems proper because the states created and ratified the constitution to a degree that has them operating under it for 226 years.

 

Now, that establishes that the people must be enabled to assure that all amendments have constitutional intent, and that is constitutionally proper for government to do because no one else will, and without that, the constitution may fail, be usurped in its original intent or destroyed as the basis for the republic.  That, is patently unconstitutional.



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Post 10

Saturday, May 30 - 9:51amSanction this postReply
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Christopher wrote, "Prohibiting stopping [free speech] is for all intents and purposes is the same as allowing."

 

No, it isn't.  To say that the government "allows" free speech is to say that it has the right to stop it, which it doesn't.  It is to say that that freedom exists only by permission of the government.  A permission can be revoked at the discretion of the authority granting it.

 

Christopher also wrote, "The government has first given individual rights to corporations, who have then created national broadcast networks which serve exclusively the agenda of government and commerce.  This is an abridging of the INTENT of purpose of free speech to enable unity adequate to alter or abolish."

 

This is the same mistake.  The government doesn't "give" individual rights to people.  People already have individual rights by their very nature as human beings, which the government is obligated to respect.  Quoting Galt in Atlas Shrugged, "The source of man's rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity.  A is A, and man is man.  Rights are conditions of existence required by man's nature for his proper survival." (Emphasis added)

 

Your argument is that the big media outlets have too much control over the content of speech and serve as vehicles for government propaganda, which the rest of us ("the people") have no means of countering.  So the government has a duty to empower us with the means of opposing such propaganda; it has a duty to "give" us an alternative means of speech and expression so that we can abolish that self-same government if it becomes destructive of our rights.

 

But observe that the government cannot give to some what it does not first take from others.  It cannot provide the rest of us with the same broadcasting facilities that the big media outlets already possess without confiscating the resources from those who have already earned and rightfully possess them.  If it does the latter, then it has already become destructive of people's rights by confiscating their property. 

 

You cannot demand that the government violate some people's rights in order to provide other people with the means of protesting the violation of those rights.



Post 11

Sunday, June 21 - 11:11amSanction this postReply
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Okay, government by the intents of the Declaration cannot prohibit the PURPOSE of free speech from manifesting by the implied, reasonable purpose defining in the OP and government by recognizing, unconstitutionally that corporations have individual rights, corporations have been empowered to abridge the PURPOSE of free speech which usurps the American peoples right to alter or abolish which will lead to the demise of the constitution and government which is destructive to unalienable rights.

 

Your argument is not reasonable Fred.  It is legal, but not reasonable.  I've just converted my point into legal terms you should accept without question IF you are reasonable before you are "legal" which is also constitutional or supportive of the 1787 constitutions intent over any unconstitutional, infiltrations or usurpations of the natural law which is the basis from the Declaration of Independence to the constitution, and all law.

 

Thank you for your continued participation in the discussion Fred:-)



Post 12

Thursday, June 25 - 10:53amSanction this postReply
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I hate intrisicism.



Post 13

Monday, June 29 - 5:34pmSanction this postReply
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You mean that intricism is intrinsically wrong?  Could an intrinsic claim not be objectively truthful?



Post 14

Tuesday, June 30 - 6:08pmSanction this postReply
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Does free speech have a purpose?  Well, for whom?  Isn't each individual person and end - or purpose - in himself?  And isn't any right - including free speech - based on the the idea that each individual is an end in himself? 

 

Free speech should not require a purpose other than the purpose of the individual engaging in it. 



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Post 15

Tuesday, June 30 - 7:08pmSanction this postReply
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Does free speech have a purpose?  Well, for whom?  Isn't each individual person and end - or purpose - in himself?  And isn't any right - including free speech - based on the the idea that each individual is an end in himself? 

That's well said.  Individual's have a some purpose behind what they say.  Individuals are an end in themselves and that is the purpose towards which their acts, including speaking, are assumed to flow.  So the right of free speech is a part of the right to the pursuit of their happiness.

 

There are two very similar ways in which I view freedom of speech:  

 

1.   A Political Purpose: You can have yet another context for which there is a purpose to free speech.  To sustain a constitutionally limited government where the purpose of such a government is to protect individual liberty (and that was the purpose of the founders) one can easily see that if we, the people, don't have the freedom to speak our minds, to print what we want, to assemble, and then to have fair elections, then we have lost the ability to protect the structure that protects our liberty.  In that political philosophy arena free speech's purpose is to be a supporting pillar in protecting the structures that protect our liberty.  To stay free we have to be free to speak our minds.

 

2.   Defined Negative Rights: Freedom of speech is another way of saying "free of initiated force or threats to initiate force that would interfer with a person speaking their mind."  In other words freedom of speech is that state which exists when the use of force is prohibited in this area.  We are free of force directed in a specific direction.  In the Bill of Rights, it makes specific one of those rights that make clear what no government has a right do, saying in effect: "The government can NOT do anything but what it is explicitly granted permission to do by this constitution, AND we specify some rights of every person, like the right to freedom of speech, and we do so explicitly because they are especially important in preserving our liberty."  (Back to political purpose in #1.)



Post 16

Friday, July 3 - 4:24pmSanction this postReply
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David Wooten, the purpose of free speech which this topic is concerned with is the one all American's share.  It is the purpose of creating unity adequate to alter or abolish government destructive to unalienable rights.

 

Free speech has infinite lessor purposes, 



Post 17

Friday, July 3 - 4:38pmSanction this postReply
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That's all true and correct Steve, but this thread is about the ultimate purpose of free speech.  The one that saves our lives, the one that prevents the destruction of unalienable rights.

 

It's pretty clear that the framers intended for Americans to be able to alter or abolish.  Do you think otherwise?

 

If indeed the framers did intend that, HOW did the framers propose Americans have the power to alter or abolish government powerful enough to be destructive to unalienable rights?  Clearly, Article V is "alter or ablish" codified, so American citzens must control their states who are actually the entities with the power to "alter or abolish"  How did the framers intend Americans control their states with their vote?  People of states must have accurate informed opinions in order to express themselves in democracy functionally.  How did the framers intend for the people to form accurate opinions?  Now that would be a good question to answer.

 

Did the framers intend that Americans unity create power over government so that it could be stopped from destroying unalienable rights?

 

Then, if the framers intended that Americans  be unified to enable their power of destructive government, what exactly did the framers intend serve the purpose of enabling that unity?

 

Just trying to hold the scope of discussion within context of the original post.



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Post 18

Saturday, July 4 - 7:26amSanction this postReply
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This is somewhat off-topic, but here is a video of Mark Steyn speaking about climate change and the hockey stick. In the last 1.5 minutes Steyn says his legal case versus Michael Mann is a big one regarding free speech.



Post 19

Saturday, July 4 - 12:33pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Merlin.  Good Video.  Mark Steyn is very entertaining.



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