Freedom of Speech

Free speech is never truly free
Speaking takes courage and there is a price
A man’s reputation is often built upon words
Bold words often come with bold sacrifices

Men have ideals that they sell
Good words and good intentions
Those who can buy a voice are free to print
Those who cannot afford the price remain silent

There are some who pay the price of blood
Speaking against those in power
Not all voices all allowed to survive
Sometimes speaking freely costs everything

Some speech will always be criminal
A few lead soldiers to take over the world
Words are able to kill and to destroy
Hatred and destruction follow in the wake

In which ways is the free press free?
Will words inciting riots be allowed?
Will words destroying reputations be allowed?
Will words calling for murder be allowed?

A man’s tongue is free to cry fire
His tongue is free to make threats
His tongue is free to conspire to murder
Can such spoken crimes be punished?

Free Speech remains a creative illusion
Those who call for it also fight against it

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4 comments on “Freedom of Speech

  1. arielle81 says:

    Hello Michael,

    You make a lot of very good points. Free speech is definiitely a two edge sword and with all the tabloids and so forth it has led to some sticky situations. There are down sides.
    However, I know, I know , again with the cheerful bit :)
    words can also heal and the pen and the keyboard are mightier than the sword… sometimes. But sometimes that’s all you’ve got.
    So, use them wisely. :)

    • It is a reaction to both the UN trying to make ‘freedom of the press’ universal… but, there are opposing views who the freedom applies to. (For example, does freedom of the press mean that the press is required to publish views they disagree with… in some places, yes.) In some places, there is a question whether or not speech to incite violence should be protected or not… here, it is not and never has been.

      Most of all — this is continuing my series of answering other people’s poems (Thanks 3B)

      http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/limiting-free-speech-1-introduction/ also gives a nice overview.

  2. arielle81 says:

    Hi Michael,

    I just found this quote and thought you would appreciate it.

    “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” –George Burns

    :)

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