The Ghost That Died

I think it is now clear that over my lifetime the rights of people in democracies have been gradually, slowly but very surely, eroded. When I was young we were taught in law school that everything was permitted provided there was no law prohibiting it. Today there are countless new laws prohibiting many things from new crimes invented by humanity’s ingenuity to undesirable actions which have become unlawful, even though they should not be classified as unlawful but merely undesirable.

This means, among other things, that we are no longer free to speak our minds without fear of persecution, where speaking our minds may mean that the ideas we communicate do not accord with perceived “right thinking” or right behaviour. Countless instances of those who speak their minds have been followed by an apology, often insincere, because the speech offended some easily offended section of our community , such section often feigning offence in order to promote their own ideas and desires.

Freedom of speech was probably always a ghost. It was feared by those that we elect to serve us but in fact control us, and now that ghost has died.

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