Without freedom of speech, true liberty is not possible.
In a tyranny, those in control of the state wield absolute power: power that is opaque, not subject to checks and balances. Censorship concentrates power in the hands of a few, or even of a single person. Communication by the governed can be surveilled, and any calls to change their system of government can be harshly punished.
In such a system, censorship and control go together. Art, culture and science become tools, used by those in power to suppress and control instead of to enlighten. Control over speech allows those in power to erase history; everything that contains words or images can and will become politicized.
It is important that we defend freedom of speech over and over again to prevent tyrannical governments from succeeding in acquiring government power and retaining it unchallenged.
Yet state control is not the only way in which freedom of speech can be lost.
Read Ayaan’s full article here.