"To silence criticism is to silence freedom."
by:
Sidney Hook
(1902-1989) American, former Marxist philosopher/professor turned Democratic Socialist, CIA operative, recipient of 1985 Presidential Medal of Freedom from Reagan
Source:
New York Times Magazine, 30 September 1951
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
10,000 stars for this timeless quote of truth!
 -- Me Again     
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    How strange to hear this from a Marxist or what does it say about us that this seems strange.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    No Waffler, he believes in free speech until he gets control. Then dissenters are the enemy of the people.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    And to destroy privacy is to destroy liberty.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Castro and other Socialists of this ilk , sure didn't put up with much criticism. Neither do leftist college professors who infest our schools today.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    Expletives aside; Yes, Yes, Yes
     -- RobertSRQ     
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     -- bushrocks, D.C.      
    No Warren I think there is a deeper explanation and it simply is that their is a difference between a Marxist and a Lennist/Stalinist.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    The statement is true enough. Why does Waffler think that Hook valued Freedom? He simply stated that in order to establish Marxism, there must be no criticism of it. Marxists/Leninists/Stalinists/Fascists declare openly their disdain for Freedom -- it is no secret.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Let's think about this one. Not all criticism is constructive or true. Indeed, most disagreements are merely proffered to posit some agenda, not to engender a constructive response or solution. And I say this knowing gladly that this criticism I am offering here is subject to this same standard on what is true. So, though I do believe freedom must, by it's very nature, be open to disgagreement, I do not believe to be free requires us hearing all criticism. One must conclude a course eventually.
     -- Evangelist Patrick J Burwell/OnlyJesusSaves.com, Newton, NJ     
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    "No Warren I think there is a deeper explanation and it simply is that their is a difference between a Marxist and a Lennist/Stalinist." Want to know the difference between a socialist, a communist, a Marxist? A communist is a socialist in a hurry, and a Marxist is a socialist in a hurry with a gun. Lenin and Stalin were Marxists, as histroy shows by the 100 MILLION of their OWN PEOPLE they murdered!!! And pure democracy is a socialist society waiting to degenerate into Marxism. Thank Yahweh we live in a reperesentative Republic and not a democracy. God save us from majority rule.
     -- Evangelist Patrick J. Burwell/OnlyJesusSaves.com, Newton, NJ     
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    Marx never knew Lenin. Obviously followers or at least readers of Marx existed before Lenin was born. Just trying to open some minds. What do your think Yahweh thinks of the social order of the Israeli kibbutzim. We wont go into your lack of understanding concerning "representative Republic" amd "democracy" Mr. Burwell. Do your own research but for starters it would be better for you to use the phrase "we live in representative democratic republic". Check any and all dictionaries and you will find that "republic" and "democracy" representative or full are the same thing.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Evangelist Patrick J. Burwell is correct in setting forth that to be free does not require us from hearing all criticism BUT, to silence criticism, is to silence freedom
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Waffler, are you still on that kick? You really should just sit in on a few political science and philosophy classes, read some Machiavelli -- go grab his Discourses on a Republic and educate yourself. And while you're at it, grab a few books by the founding fathers and read up on why they hated Democracies. There is a whole world out there for you to discover if you'd just look outside wikipedia. We all understand the Democracy thing, that's why we support a Republican form of government. Well said Mr. Burwell, don't take any account to what Waffler says, no one else here does (no offense Waffler). Just out of curiosity, Waffler, are you in possession of a dictionary that predates 1900? Are you familiar that terms and phrases change over time? You would if you had any education in the matter, but I will tell you once again (because it doesn't look like the last thousand times worked): The terms we associate to the word "Republic" have changed over time (you ignoramus), and so have the ideas, principles, and philosophies that were commonly held. If you want to argue how things evolve, that's fine, but stop running your mouth with a false answer. OF COURSE you can look up in ANY and ALL dictionaries (Websters, Oxfords, etc) to find that a Republic and a Democracy are nearly identical in today's terminology... NO ONE HAS EVER CHALLENGED THAT IS WHAT THEY CURRENTLY SAY!! Of all the points you are ignorant on, this is perhaps the greatest (and I'll say it for the 1,001 time): TERMS AND DEFINITIONS CHANGE OVER TIME!! You can ask any college professor, and they will tell you the same thing... Political Science 101 text books tell you that the terms have changed between what a Republic was considered THEN AND NOW. All current definitions fit an international understanding and ideology that the US has adopted over the last 60 years (you'd know this if you had ever taken any international political science classes) -- But that IS NOT what any of us here are talking about. Go ahead and read Machiavellis Discourses on Republics and then get back to me before you respond, and then, perhaps, you'll have a general idea where Archer, Mike, and a host of other people on this blog have been talking about in reference to Democracies and Republics... Do your homework, and let people think you're ignorant before you open your proverbial online "mouth" and prove it to us all (yet again).
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    Wow! "Logan's Run"
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Nice, Logan. I guess Waffler doesn't give up -- a lie repeated enough will eventually be thought as truth, and that's what he is banking on. In 1787, the year of the US Constitutional Convention, John Adams did some mighty interesting research. In his work, Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1787 (http://www.constitution.org/jadams/ja1_00.htm) Adams lists dozens of republics of his day and from ancient times: Democratical Republics, Aristocratical Republics, and Monarchical Republics. From the history of dozens of nations, the American Republic was formed taking what was believed to be the best from those that worked and avoided the structures of those that devolved into despotism. The primary difference between the Ameican Republic and others was the balance of power and the strict boundaries between Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches laid out by the US Constitution. This work should settle most debates about 'republics.' Adams definitely hated 'democracies.' He did not consider the US government to be a 'democracy' and explained the dangers of allowing the populace at large to select their Governor and President -- and contrary to popular belief, governors and presidents are not elected by the people at large -- just ask Al Gore!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    What an appropriate quote! unlike the rest of the robots, I can see the wrongs being perpetrated on the people of this country, in the name of freedom and the war on terror. Fat Americans need to put the feed tray down, walk away from their TV's and use their brains... but that requires effort. Sorry.
     -- Karl Marx, Franklin , Pa.     
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    There is no greater example of freedom than that which God has given to mankind. Consider the many critics of the Father of freedom. Truth can be used out of context to one’s advantage yet truth in this context is to the advantage of all. The bearer of a truth, when spoken by a fool or a donkey, does not alter its factual significance. (For me), H. L. Mencken’s quote concerning debate provides the appropriate value to Mr. Hook’s quote. “Debate, it seems to me, is one of the most useful of human inventions. It is the mother and father of all free inquiry and honest thought. It tests ideas, detects errors and promotes clear thinking. A man cannot stand up before it without exposing his whole intellectual stock of goods.”
     -- Quency Gardner / Author, Pastor, Greenville, N.C.     
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     -- Jim k, Austin      
    Homologoumenos, Without controversy, To declare openly by way of speaking out freely, such confession being the effect of deep convictions of FACT. Without the combining of both the Declaration and Constitution there is no legal ground to revolt against , so called " divine monarchal rule " or tyranny by majority, democratic socialism. " Legalized Plunder "
    ( Riyb, debate ) is the right to conduct a legal case on behalf of Gods defense. A sacred right. Isaiah 27:8 as it is also a holy word of God, and not the invention of man. The quote is a statement of general application and considering the current occupying socialist mob rule, Hook fits right in with the statist mentality !
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    It is good to hear from those within the Core Association of True Patriots of Liberty and Freedom Ordained by the God of nature and nature's God. " The only legal war engaged by America was the Revolution." paraphrasing, Murray Rothbard.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    Mankind is held in Check, by his Carnal Associations and his Spiritual Inclinations !! Honest components of a Merciful God.

     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    Freedom without " Financial Liberty " is nothing more than a cloud without rain in a dry season !!!
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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