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Freedom of Speech: Is Censorship Necessary? Essay

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Updated: Jan 24th, 2022

One of the greatest achievements of the contemporary democratic society is the freedom of speech. In America, freedom of speech is considered to be one of the most cherished values. Every American citizen has the right to express his opinions and ideas. The basis for freedom of speech in America comes from the First Amendment, which declares that no law, which abridges freedom of speech, can be adopted by Congress. The fundamental principle of the American system is the idea of free and open exchanging of thoughts, which enables to find truth and explode lie.

At the same time, it is necessary to distinguish freedom of speech and a persons ability to speak whatever he wants. The freedom of speech is not total. This fact is used by those who consider freedom of speech to be a myth in America. Indeed, they have certain reasons for it because the First Amendment talks only about Congress, but nothing is said about other branches of power. However, it is necessary to realize in what cases the government has the right to abridge the freedom of self-expression. This restriction is intended to avoid actions that would harm others, that can cause damage to private property, or even to the health of citizens. For instance, the government within reasonable limits may put restrictions on demonstrations of protest in living districts, in order to assure public safety.

Side by side with the freedom of speech, there exists such notion as censorship. Sometimes the restrictions, which are made for censorship reasons, are considered to be free speech restrictions or restrictions of freedom of expression. My strong belief is, these things have nothing in common, and it is necessary to make a clear distinction between them.

The recent terrible events, which have taken place in France, are confirmation for this. It goes without saying, that there is no excuse for those, who have carried out such terrorist acts. Human life is the highest value and no one, whatever the reasons are, has a right to take it away. However, I think that the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo, which are considered to give rise to this tragedy, are far from being politically correct. In my opinion, such vulgar drawings, that insult the religious feelings of citizens, that cause ethnic hostility, must be censored, especially in such complicated and multinational countries as France. To my mind, the French government, which has not responded in an appropriate manner to this threat, bears to a certain extent responsible for this tragedy.

Politicians, regardless of their views and confessions, are responsible for their country. On the one hand, like any citizen, they have the right to freedom of speech. On the other hand, they should try to foresee the possible events, and always be politically correct. A phrase, which is said under the influence of emotions, may cause serious consequences. At the same time, in the government of any country, there are political figures who always express their views, regardless of subsequences. It is difficult to say whether they are right or not. To my mind, we have to elect politicians not for their words, but for their actions. In the modern world, our political views are highly dependent on mass media, and I think that such vital questions, as the problems of the foreign policy of the state should be discussed in public.

In general, the problem of free speech is rather complicated, and I think every person understands it in his own way.

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