Political Inquirer

July 24, 2011

Freedom To Speak Is A Basic Human Right That Cannot Be Suppressed

Filed under: Links — Henry Mason @ 12:44 am

Freedom of speech is a basic human right. It is the freedom to say what you want without fear of being suppressed either by coercion, imprisonment or punishment. It is inherent in every individual and people who have no freedom of speech are not truly free.

All over the world, democratic countries respect and protect the rights of the individual and its citizens to be able to speak out and say what they want. They can complain about the government, the people who rule them or the system without being afraid that someone will come after them or something bad will happen to them.

Freedom of speech is guaranteed by the constitution of countries that follows the rule of law and who believe that the powers of the government emanates from the people. They believe that it is the citizenry makes up the backbone of the nation and the government exists to protect and serve the interest of the people.

For this reason, the freedom to speak out and criticize the government or public officials of wrong doing cannot be curtailed and even nurtured because by that freedom, the country becomes stronger and more powerful and the people supports them.

However, there are also countries where people are not free to speak out. The people are oppressed and held hostage by unscrupulous rulers who abuse their powers and suppress everyone who tries to speak up and complain. These countries have rulers who are dictators and tyrants. They will use all kinds of excuses and threats to keep their people silent.

When the people are fed up and rise up against them, they immediately clamp down on the media, newspapers, the internet and other forms of communication including cell phones to keep their people from reporting their abuses and talking about it to the outside world.

Rulers and leaders who try to suppress the freedom of speech are pathetic. Hard as they might, people will still talk and when international media gets to know about it, the consequence can be disastrous to the tyrants.  History has a long record of rulers who have been overthrown by wars and uprising because the people are unhappy.

When freedom is curtailed, humans have the tendency to fight back and things can be very violent if they are suppressed. It is like a silent volcano that gathers up enough pressure and soon enough it will just erupt and destroy everything in its way.

History has also shown that countries that safeguard the freedom of its people enjoy popular support and flourishes. The nation becomes progressive and powerful because people are able to speak up and contribute ideas for the country to grow and develop.

Protecting the right of the people to speak up in effect protects the existence of the nation. When people are free to talk, they discuss, they argue and exchange ideas. Their minds become fertile grounds for new ideas that can develop into realities to push the country forward in its development. Freedom of speech feeds the core of democracy and guarantees the existence of the nation as well.

July 15, 2011

Suppressing Freedom Of Expression In Artistic Creativity Is Futile

Filed under: Links — Henry Mason @ 12:46 pm

Art is a universal language that is can be understood by anyone. It does not require training or schooling to be able to understand or feel the message. Art comes in different forms and is appreciated by people through their senses. Paintings, photographs, drawings, doodles and even cartoon images are forms of art that can carry a message to the viewer. Music is another form of art that appeals to the listener. Even without lyrics, the melody can arouse intense emotional reaction from the listener without necessarily putting words into the music.

In ancient times people communicated with one another by means of symbols, rope knots, drum beats, drawings, and other means of communication tools. The images they created were so articulate in telling a story that those which survived to these days were considered historical treasures. They were valued not so much for having survived until the present but because of the story that their drawings and symbols tell. It is their way of expressing their thoughts and ideas into concrete symbols that can be understood by other people. In a way, it is also the birth of artistic creativity.

Artistry uses imagination to express ideas or feelings. These feelings can be expressed in works of arts created by inspired people who may be ordinary artisans or masters in their field of specialization.  It is their skills that enable them to create works of arts that speaks to the mind and the heart. No matter how you suppress it, this will somehow find a way to be expressed.

Many authoritarian regimes have attempted to suppress dissent by keeping a tight control on artistic creativity. But the exercise will always be futile because artists, by their nature, are skillful and they will always find a way to express their discontent in any form of medium.

Some artists in fact became even more popular because of their notoriety in attacking an oppressive regime through paintings, drawing, music and literary masterpieces. Their works are highly in demand and are valued by art collectors all over the world.  They become even more famous if they are imprisoned or harassed by the government of their country.

Dictators and rulers are afraid that their works will ignite the spirit of discontent and move people to unite and rise against them.  On the other hand, the more they are hunted down and oppressed by the tyrants, the more people pay attention to their cause and before you know it, their fans have doubled by the millions.

There is just no way you can stop freedom of expression especially in art. It will always find a way to sprout and grow stronger. It is like the proverbial grass that will survive even in the harshest environment and persists even stronger in an environment of fear and hate. The harassment and oppression the artists receive will only serve to fuel their imagination and make them even more prolific.

July 10, 2011

The Freedom To Speak Out Your Mind Is Not Absolute

Filed under: Links — Henry Mason @ 10:48 am

Freedom is defined as the right to do or say what you want without anybody stopping you.  It implies that freedom is a basic human right that is enshrined in the laws of the land in all democratic countries so that, no matter what you say about the government, it will still work to protect your right to do so and to let no one stop you from speaking out. The laws of the land will protect you from being stifled or oppressed and even provide sufficient forums through which you can air out your grievances and complains.

Freedom is by no less limited by laws. It is not absolute.  It comes with responsibility and accountability. You can do or say what you want as long as it causes no harm to somebody else. Once you do, you will be answerable to the law and can be punished for what you did.

You cannot use that freedom as an excuse to go after another person or violate their right to an extent that you cause irreparable damage to his/her person or property. You cannot benefit from that freedom at the expense of another because no one is above the law and each one has an equal right to be protected as the others.

Freedom is what makes the country strong and vigorous. When the citizens are free, the country will also be powerful because the government draws its strength from its citizenry. That is why, the protection of this right is enshrined in the constitution of every democratic country and the people will go to war at a single notice to defend and protect it from being violated.

A strong country all means a solid backbone for industry and commerce. Individuals are able to build their own companies from the bottom up without fear the state will take them away once they are profitable. Successful start ups like facebook, clarisonic and luminess air are just some examples of inidviduals building thriving and successful companies.

The basic right of every human being to be free is also recognized and protected by international laws. It is found in every covenant, treaty and international agreements and respected by signifying countries who believe in its ideals. By agreeing to this idea, countries who took part in drafting this agreements share equal responsibility in preserving and protecting it from those who seek to destroy or mangle its meaning.

Freedom of speech is the right to receive, impart or seek information or ideas through different forms of media.  The broader term that applies to this right is called freedom of expression. It is the right of a person to use any kind of media whether it is written or printed, orally broadcasted, through the internet or through art. The field with which to exercise this freedom is very wide and can give opportunities for misinterpretation or abuse at times. History will show that there had been manyinstances when this freedom is abused and also record the events that happened as a consequence.

For freedom to flourish, it is important that people should learn to be tolerant of criticism and dissenting opinion. However, allowing the flow of information free rein especially on the internet can cause a lot of harm on impressionable minds of children and young adults and can create more harm than good. For this reason, it is equally important that people should be vigilant against those who would twist its meaning to serve their evil purpose.

July 3, 2011

Freedom of Information Through The Internet Can Be Both Beneficial And Dangerous

Filed under: Links — Henry Mason @ 9:55 am

Children are naturally curious and when left on their own, they can access all types of information on the internet without parents knowing what they are getting themselves into. Nowadays, the internet has pushed aside any semblance of censorship.  It has allowed everyone free access to all types of data and information that can pose a danger to young impressionable minds.

Without any law or regulation to control the flow of information, young people can go online and access websites that are not permissible for their age. Even today, there are websites which benefit children – like these hooked on phonics reviews which is an exellent online program to encourage reading in the young – but for every website that offers value, there are many, many more which don’t. Freedom of information is not without fault. It is like a double edged sword that can work both to your advantage and disadvantage.

Freedom of information is advantageous for everyone who go online to search for information that can help them in their decision making process. It allows us to have the widest possible source of information about anything we want to know.

The internet is the richest source of news around the world. With just a single click, you can move through different countries and find out what is happening on the other side of the globe. Through the internet, we are able to gather up to the minute report of data and statistics, access government and private institutions, transact business, receive mails, get in touch with people and learn about new products.

The amount of information you get through the internet is unlimited. It also allows you to exchange information and interact with other people who happen to share your interest. It is a totally new ball game and the rules are changing every minute in response to new developments in cyber technology and the manner by which people use it in their everyday life.

Unfortunately, it can work to our disadvantage. Freedom of information on the internet can be manipulated to serve the purpose of one person or group of people. Just like freedom of the press, it is prone to abuse and misuse. Children and young people are the most frequent victim of this sad fact especially when the parents are not around to supervise them when they use the internet.

There are people who go online to prey on these helpless victims to deceive them or take advantage of their vulnerability and ignorance and it is up to the parents or adults to make sure that internet time for children should be beneficial and useful instead of giving them the liberty to process the information without guidance and control.

Freedom of information can also be used to serve the purpose of unscrupulous individuals or governments who imposes censorship in order to prevent information from reaching the citizens or to prevent them from giving reports to the outside world. Instead, the people are fed information that are like propaganda materials and hides the truth about the actual situation. News and other information reaching the people are filtered to allow only those that are acceptable to the regime. This doesn’t just apply to governments but also consumer practices. Recently, there has been much praise of the no no hair removal company which lead the way in exposing some of the worst examples of big companies censoring users on it own forums and websites. Whenever the citizen begins to show discontent, the first thing government and companies alike target is the internet because they know that the web is the easiest and fastest way for people to reach everyone and tell their story.

June 30, 2011

The Right To Agree Or Disagree Should Be Preserved And Protected In A Free Society

Filed under: Links — Henry Mason @ 6:59 am

Freedom of speech is inherent in a democracy. It is one of the six pillars of a free society. In a democratic country, everyone is free to agree and disagree. Even if you criticize the government and talk about how bad they are running the country, they will respect your opinion and work to protect your rights including the right to speak out against them. That is the beauty of a democratic nation. It is what makes the country strong and makes the government machinery work efficiently. Without an informed electorate to keep them on track, the system can go haywire and destroy everything that the people have worked hard and fought for.

Freedom of speech helps to maintain a balanced and stable internal environment for the country to operate smoothly despite any abrupt or disruptive change in the external or international environment. Regardless of events that are happening elsewhere in the world, as long as the citizens are free to voice their opinion and stand up for their right, no amount of threat or coercion from the outside can cow them into submission.

Freedom of speech and freedom of information allows information to flow freely through different media such as television, newspapers, radio, internet and other sources. People will grab at any source to get the right information because they want to be knowledgeable about the topic. Ignorance is the handmaid of destruction and for this reason an informed populace is the strongest weapon against terrorism and other forms of threats to the stability of the nation.  It is a wrong notion for government or other agencies to withhold information on grounds of protecting the citizenry.

Some sectors of society may clamor for freedom of speech to be limited or censored claiming that it is dangerous to allow people to disagree with some policies being enforced by the government.  On the contrary, a well informed population is better able and better equipped to defend and protect themselves from the unknown. When people are left in the dark about what is going on in the country or how other people are placed at a disadvantage because of restrictions to their rights, it can create discontent and chaos among them. It is better to allow them an avenue to air their sentiments and listen to what they are saying otherwise, they might resort to violence or uprising to get what they want.

In a society where everyone is free to speak up, there is a healthy exchange of ideas and opinions. Freedom of speech allows for unfettered flow of information and everyone is encouraged to contribute their two cents worth to help solve the problem. It provides a rich soil for new knowledge to sprout without being stifled by prejudice and ostracism. It makes communities thrive with vigor and vitality because everyone has a voice and decisions are always based on general consensus. Even disagreements are considered a necessary evil if only to give both side of the argument equal opportunity to be heard and discussed. That is what we call democracy in action.

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