Friday, January 22, 2010

A Few Words About Free Speech

This blog's title strongly implies it's not about politics but culture. Even so, it's pretty hard to imagine real sincere cultural exchange or growth without freedom of speech or association.

The Constitution really can't be more clear in stating that the government has no right at all to limit the free speech, the press or free association of it's citizens. But, I guess if one had to guess the most protected form of communication intended by the founders, it would be political speech.

The funny thing about the recent court's strikedown of campaign finance limits was that the case was not brought over an ad, but a film with political content. When justice Roberts asked the solicitor general if there were any forms of speech the FCC could not limit under the law; the answer was almost none.


adam said...

corporations are not people. money is not speech. yesterday's supreme court ruling was a horrifying attack against the democracy that the founders intended.

Anonymous said...

The Supreme Court has consistently found that spending money is equivalent to free speech and free expression.

Corporations operate as 'individuals' under the law.

Merge Divide said...

...except that corporations can't be tried in criminal court, nor do they have the same obligations and duties as individual citizens, nor is there anywhere near the same level of accountability with corporations as individual citizens.

Merge Divide said...

...nor is spending money the same thing as exercising your right of free speech.

Adam I Zucker said...

Corporations have made their own "creative" and oppressive loopholes within our constitution. With politicians and lawyers partnering up with corporations we will have ultimately no true freedom.

Art suffers the same fate at the hands of collectors and institutions who support the market trends rather than the good progressive art making that usually goes under the radar.

John Morris said...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

I don't have time for an in depth argument about this at this time, but I think a simple glance at the First Amendment above makes one wonder if in fact violations and abridgments of free speech are the real loopholes in the law.

And let's get this straight--The Constitution is the absolute supreme law of the land and the document all other lawmakers and the president are supposed to make an attempt to follow and protect.

You may be right in your opinion about money. Perhaps there should be such restrictions,(Of course, I don't think so at all)in which case the Constitution should be changed or amended. However, until that day comes, it's pretty clear what the law above really says. You really need a Harvard degree to get around it.

"Art suffers the same fate at the hands of collectors and institutions who support the market trends rather than the good progressive art making that usually goes under the radar."

"Good progressive art making", according to whom? The government? People favored by the government? A board of "established" experts? Established by whom?

Remember how open the state endowed establishment was to new art in France in 1870 or perhaps Germany in the 1930's?