December 13, 2023

Free Speech

In London's Hyde Park, there is an area known as Speaker's Corner, where, by tradition and the law, people are free to make speeches and express themselves.

I have been there a few times. Speakers sometimes stand on boxes or ladders to make themselves more visible. The confident ones just stand on the ground. Some people want to preach religion; others talk politics. Some people try out their stand-up comedy. Some just talk randomly about whatever pops into their heads. Not everyone attracts an audience, and not every audience is respectful. The speakers have the right to speak; the hearers have the right to disagree or walk away.

And that is pretty much what free speech is and isn't. You can say whatever you like, and you can't compel anyone to pay attention to you, nor can you require those who do pay attention to agree with you. @realrkwest


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