"Dissent... is a right essential to any concept of the dignity and freedom of the individual; it is essential to the search for truth in a world wherein no authority is infallible."
Norman Thomas
(1884-1968) For many years the U.S. Socialist Presidential candidate
New York Times Magazine, 1959
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Reader comments about this quote:
Even though I disagree with Norman Thomas' ideals, I agree with this statement, and it is the basis of liberal thought (no matter how flawed). Socialists use 'freedom of speech' to argue against freedom for everything else.
 -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- gdgca      
    E Archer said it well.
     -- jim k, austin     
    But we seldom live or move in dignified and free social environments. Where I live people are pretty much of one persuasion on many things and choose their friends accordingly. Even on this site it seems that with a few dissent is attacked very regularly rather than it being seen as essential in the search for truth. The problem is many of us often think we already have the truth and no dissent is therefor necessary.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    Archer, said well. Dissent often clarifies a specific concept.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- warren, olathe      
    Every advance in freedom, equality and justice is owed to dissent. And many of those dissenters were socialists. They damn sure were not capitalists.
     -- Dick, Fort Worth     
  • 1
    He also said.. Democrats have taken the socialist movement for them and branded it with the name Liberalism.
     -- Anonymous, Clarkston     
    While dissent is sometimes a necessary thing, often it becomes the end all of the argument. Many use dissent simply to dissent rather than as a method of ferreting out the truth. That is when it becomes an evil thing and a tool for anarchists. There always comes a point when dissent eventually becomes nothing more than disruptive.
     -- Charles, East Hampton     
    I heartily agree with the quote. Bravo!
     -- HPR, Carmel     
    No dissent is infallible either, nor is dissent legitimate just because it is dissent. It must be reasoned dissent to be legitimate.
     -- Kit, Rochester     
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