"The function of free speech under our system of government
is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose
when it invites a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction
with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger.
Speech is often provocative and challenging.
It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions
and have profound unsettling effects
as it passes for acceptance of an idea."
by:
Justice William O. Douglas
(1898-1980), U. S. Supreme Court Justice
Source:
Terminello v. Chicago, 1949
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Reader comments about this quote:
The function of free speech under our system of government today is to get yourself put on a watch list and considered a possible domestic terrorist. After all...the authoritarian regimes of the day are "terrified" that there may be dissent. You're either a compliant sheep...or your against us! LOL
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    J says it better than I can.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    The "function" ? ""our" system of government" ? (maybe his ideal system) With in the scope of the laws of nature and of nature's God, free speech is an individual sovereign's inalienable right. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it passes for acceptance of an idea. Speech may indeed invite a condition of unrest, create dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stir people to anger. Speech may also illuminate the atrocities of an occupying statist theocracy that infests the land. That being said. J gave the applied realism of Amerika.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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