Free Speech Is The United States Essay

1119 Words Nov 9th, 2014 null Page
Free speech is often seen as key tenant to liberal ideology. Liberal ideology is the ‘commitment to the individual and the desire to construct a society in which people can satisfy their interests and achieve fulfilment’ (Heywood 2012:24). Liberalism promotes individualism and is resistant to forms of control, especially government control, that remove an individual’s freedom. Classical liberalism encourages only minimal role of the state with no interference in the private lives of individuals, where modern liberalism focuses more on state assistance in order to help individuals reach their potential – such as welfare and regulation of markets (Heywood 2012:25). Freedom is a paramount right to liberalism as they allow individuals self-determination – to seek a good life as they see fit – as long as it doesn’t impinge on other’s individual rights. Free speech is seen as one of the highest rights to this freedom.
Liberalism often see individual rights as ‘trumps’ in that they are the ultimate unit of concern and override all other considerations (Passavant p1). Rights, according to the liberal view are paramount in protecting the individual and guaranteeing a level of freedom and autonomy. Communitarians differ to liberals in that they believe that excessive rights can damage society and should be limited. Where individuals assert legal rights they can damage to community (Passavant p2) Liberalism often espouses a form of negative freedom. Negative freedom is the…

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