"In those wretched countries where
a man cannot call his tongue his own,
he can scarce call anything his own.
Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation
must begin by subduing the freeness of speech."
by:
Benjamin Franklin
(1706-1790) US Founding Father
Source:
Dogwood Papers
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Reader comments about this quote:
that is very true
 -- cameron, demossville     
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    I think we have beaten this one to death... there is freeness of speech and then there is freeness of speech. And yes, the heavens are blue when there are no clouds in the sky.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    Sadly, "those wretched countries" is getting to be ....us!
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    The Libs want to bring back the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" to get rid of conservative talk on the radio and TV. Libs love free speech when you agree with them.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    Thankfully King George (both III & W) are now behind us... jim k should remember that there are legal limits on this freedom, incitement to riot or to murder or to the violent overthrow of the government are all outside this freedom, and yet these are the forms that too much of the radical right's talk radio & TV take.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Yes Ben yes. And those who attempt to practive free speech but then resort to name calling and categorizing opinions as from this school or that school (conservative, liberal, socialist, communist) are also the enemies of free speech. Some think this sight is just for the expounding of one view point. Such a site should never becalled liberty.com and those who think it is just for one point of view do not believe in freedom the one that Old Ben did.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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     -- A.B. Paul, Pinkcity      
    Waffler, well said. There are too many radical ultra conservatives that practice hate speech against those who believe in equality for all people, including those used by the corporate that has sold America out for the high profits when using cheap labor of desperate workers in underdeveloped countries while they pollute their environment, and leave American workers who helped build their country. Cannot understand how anyone would support such unAmerican behavior. It is better our press not report the actions of Corporate America, as they are bought and paid for by their big money. Yes, conservative talk shows do not like to hear the other side, only the side pharma and GE, and the big five corporations want us to believe. American has had no freedom of information for fifty years or more. Ever? Looks like our liberty has been silently overthrown.
     -- Juggs, Any Place, USA     
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    Must BEGIN by subduing the freeness of speech. Those who desire more government control have all the mass media to propagate their message whereas the information I seek has to be searched for. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press are both intertwined rights so I would say freedom of speech is more than being suppressed, more like buried.
     -- Anon     
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    I can't help but laugh at the comments of some here who give the quote 5 stars and then start bashing the speech of those they hate -- too funny, and so hypocritical. I suppose a conservative talk show shouldn't express conservative views? I guess that the glut of liberal talk shows that ceaselessly parrot the leftist party line should express conservative views? Whatever happened to "don't believe everything you read" -- that goes double for everything you hear. Every reporter, every 'program,' every person has a slant in their speech and understanding of the world, and apparently we are still interested in hearing it never-the-less. If I want news about the US, I can also read or listen to the press from the UK, France, Canada, or Australia for alternative views. I don't listen to Rush, Howard Stern or other 'shock-jocks' because they purposefully poke and prod at those with whom they differ in opinion -- they like to humiliate their opposition -- and the Leftmedia does no less daily, ALL day. The truth is not broadcast -- it is held captive and dressed up to look like the lies the powerful spread to addict us further to their culture of hate (called Free Speech), racism (called Diversity), drugs (called Health Care), war (called Security), debt (called Money), and slavery (called Freedom). Not only has speech been subdued but it has been twisted beyond recognition. What a mind-f%ck.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Ever listen to "Democracy Now" televised hour news program Mon through Fri in the morning at 9am where I live (mountain time). . It is non commercial and has stories that are not aired on CBS, NBS, CNN or FOX. I get it on Comcast on the Public Access channel. There is a web site with the same name, usual www, and .org. It is supported by Link TV. Surprised at the good documentaries that sometimes follow that program, or are on later in the day the same channel. More discussion about news items, no flipping every 30 seconds from issue to issue. Moderator Amy Goodman, serious minded woman who is not a talking head. Great segment today on national health insurance with interview with the former spokesperson for insurance companies who has since become a whistleblower. He sure had a lot to say that I agree with. One news program that does not try to indoctrinate or dumb down.
     -- Juggs, Any Town     
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    Archer, What a mind f%ck. You got that right and if that concept can be understated your line IS an understatement.
     -- Anon     
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    Well said, Archer. It is unfortunate that so much reportage has been replaced with entertainment, and that the majority of the audience is unconcerned with the difference.
     -- A.WOODS, Gloucester     
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    Archer, take a run at the "asia times". They were situated in Hong Kong until the Reds took it over and are now in Karachi. Not saying they don't have their spin as well...but its a very different spin.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Archer, said well. Juggs, I've found much on Link TV to be very eye opening - but lol, it is GE and other large politically correct corporations that make such bile as MSNDC possible. The Parties mis-information lines', spewed forth into the accepting media, schools and the confused trying to make sense of what's abusing them is a despotic form of non-free speech.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    You all amaze me - you are quite willing to quote the law but without due prudence as to the definition of words. I love it...
     -- RBESRQ     
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    Neo-Conservatives and crank-crackpot fundamentalists have the right to free speech. All you have to do is turn on your t.v. and listen to their stupid rants and raves. That is why I'M A LEFT-WING LIBERAL WHO IS FOR ANTI CENSORSHIP not the views of bigoted John Birchers and Christian Coalitionists with ideas just to the right of Anthony Comstock.
     -- David H., Athens     
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