View Full Version : Freedom of Speech

03-14-2005, 10:11 AM
I've been doing some research on freedom of speech for a school project, I've mostly been reading some law books and stuff, studied the problems of freedom of speech in Finland (mostly issues about privacy versus free press - gossip rags and all that), and then something just popped to my head.

Somewhere, sometime, on this BBS, wheelchairman said something about freedom of speech in the lines of, "Yes, freedom of speech, but for who?"

That struck me as really odd. If you have freedom of opinion, why should only certain people be allowed to voice their opinions? Freedom of speech should be freedom of speech to everyone, but the criticism should come from the people themselves - hearing different opinions, and then deciding, which have more basis in reality, which are betterly justified and researched opinions etc.

Maybe you (wcm) were talking about journalists. Especially when discussing the privacy versus freedom of speech-issue, it becomes more of a problem. But still, freedom of speech ought to be, as an ideal, freedom of speech for everyone.

03-14-2005, 01:37 PM
It's not illegal to think anything.

Also, I didn't make it so you could be provocative without bringing anything relevant into discussion.

03-14-2005, 02:06 PM
The US supreme court rulings on the "new york times vs sullivan" (1964) case and "brandenburg vs ohio" (1969) case are probably best (legal) interpretations of freedom of speech I read, so I can only recomment you to check'm out ; ).
Fire up the old google machine.

SicN Twisted
03-14-2005, 03:16 PM
I've noticed WCM saying that too. I love how communists constantly use Orwellian catch phrazes. Freedom of speech as an ideal should apply to everyone, but it never does. The US supreme court keep sattempting to federally ban flag burning despite their apparent belief in freedom of speech.

03-14-2005, 09:23 PM
Vera check out European Court of Human Rights ruilings on Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. That's the most significant for Europe.

03-14-2005, 09:35 PM
If you have freedom of opinion, why should only certain people be allowed to voice their opinions? Freedom of speech should be freedom of speech to everyone, but the criticism should come from the people themselves - hearing different opinions, and then deciding, which have more basis in reality, which are betterly justified and researched opinions etc.

I believe it was in the book Animal Farm (I'm not sure) where it was said, "Everybody is equal, but some are more equal than others."

03-14-2005, 11:31 PM
What's flag burning got to do with freedom of speech? Freedom of self-expression and all that, yeah, but a flag is a symbol of a nation and therefore it's kind of obvious that it's in the law that it's illegal to degrade it by burning it.

Speaking of which, US soldiers degraded the Finnish flag very recently (when Bush was visiting Europe), but letting it touch the ground and also folding it incorrectly.

Also, thanks guys, but I'm focusing on Finnish law on this one. Things like freedom of speech on our national broadcasting organization, YLE etc. Another person in our project team is focusing on freedom of speech globally, but I think he'll concentrate on places where there's dictatorship and hardly any freedom of speech and how many places like that there are in the world.

03-15-2005, 04:54 AM
Also, thanks guys, but I'm focusing on Finnish law on this one. Things like freedom of speech on our national broadcasting organization, YLE etc. Another person in our project team is focusing on freedom of speech globally, but I think he'll concentrate on places where there's dictatorship and hardly any freedom of speech and how many places like that there are in the world.

I kinda should know this but surely Finland is a signatory of the European Charter of Human Rights? If so they abide by the jurisdiction of the Euro Court of Human Rights so Article 10 relates to your country, in fact, with the upcoming Constitution (I think your signed to it awaiting ratification?) the Charter of Fundamental Rights will be more significant to guaranteeing freedom of speech than your own constitution because of the supremacy of EC law.

Check that shit out and wow the teacher who will think your some legal marvel.

Also the concept of Finnish law made me chuckle. I don't know why, obviosuly they have law but you know.

03-15-2005, 06:14 AM
Justin, read my original post. I was mainly talking to WCM, asking about a statement he had made earlier. I wasn't being all "PLZ HELP ME WITH MY HOMEWORK, PPL!", I was just making some points and starting a discussion. I've got my sources.

RXP, well, yeah, but I just checked it out and it's fundamentally the same shit that's in our constitution, but whatever, I guess I could include it.

SicN Twisted
03-15-2005, 09:15 AM
Vera, flag burning is not only freedom of speech but I think it's the purest form of dissent. Burning a flag shows contempt for everything the nation represents, it's a beautiful fuck you to any kind of political oppression. That's precisely why the government has been insofar unsuccesful in banning flag burning, although that may change.

SicN Twisted
03-15-2005, 02:12 PM
Some of my friends in France ritualistically burned American flags to celebrate Bastille Day.

03-16-2005, 02:45 AM
If you have that much content for a country that you burn their flag, move the fuck out of there you hippy cunt.

03-16-2005, 04:46 AM
Yeah, it doesn't seem like the most intellectual approach. Besides, a flag represents a nation, not a government. Even if you hate the current political leaders of your country or the system or the way things are run, burning the flag also means you disrespect the people who live under that flag. It's a huge fuck you to them as well. And if you don't like any of your fellow citizens, why don't you just fuck off to a country whose flag you wouldn't like to burn.

Could just be my own backround and my country's backround, but that's how I view the flag of this nation (and of a lot of another nations). It represents the nation, the people, the independency.

It's not just the government that the flag means something to.

Of course, this depends on the situation. If a nation is formed where there is dictatorship and all the money goes to the military and the people are oppressed, the flag of the country might not mean shit to the people as it only represents their leaders and oppressors (who have formed the country, sort of enslaved the people and designed a flag to represent the country). What the people take as their own symbol could be a religious symbol or a tribe symbol or something of that sort.

Can't say much about the flag of United States.

In the case of modern day democracies such as today's USA or Finland, I think I would find flag burning just a really tactless thing to do, freedom of speech or no. It's not a very specific and considerable argument if all things truly aren't going to hell.

03-16-2005, 06:59 AM
I reckon flag burning is in the same category as any protest (usually mass protest) that has degenerated into mindless mob tactics. If you see a big protest rally, there's usually some guy with a loud-speaker screaming catchy slogans at the assembled herd of idiots whom actually think that aggresive mob tactics are the way to go.

I have no problem with expressing one's dislike for a particular people or nation; but what you have to bear in mind that when you are cussing any group of people (Like TripBoy with the Jewish) All you are really doing is expressing your ignorance and emotional immaturity by resorting to aggresion and/or blaming them for the shit you could or probably should fix.

And just in case TripBoy posts sometime under me calling me a hippy or Jew or whatever, I am not jewish, I'm not any religion. You have the right to hate anyone you like, just don't feel like an injustice has been done when a group of us decide to track you down and see if you have the stones to blab like that to someon'e face....

SicN Twisted
03-17-2005, 10:49 AM
A flag represents a government, not a nation. The current blue, white, and red French flag represents the republics, the monarchy had a different flag. The same goes for many countries that have had revolutions. The US is a rare case in which the State and the nation are one in the same, but those of us who consider the current US government to be an illigitimate, corrupt terrorist nation as I do would consider the flag a simble of tyranny, as it's displayed throughout the world as a symble of hegemondy. If you're protesting a specific aspect of your government, flag burning is futile. If you're protesting the very existence and current values espoused by your government, flag burning is a fantastic approach.

Finland may be different since it's an ancient country with a culture that's evolved over thousands of years and the flag represents something deeper then the government, but in the US, our flag is transparent. Oh yeah, the "move the fuck out" argument is retarded. As a citizen wouldn't I have the right to try my hardest to contribute to the overthrow of a government that I believe is illigitimate. And it is definately legal here.

03-17-2005, 11:19 AM
No move the fuck out. If you have that much distatste for a ruler get out of the country. anthing else is hypocracy.

03-17-2005, 11:32 AM
I sort of understand your point better now, Sic.

Moving out isn't always the answer, Dush. It can be considered giving up.

SicN Twisted
03-17-2005, 11:59 AM
It's up to the people of a country to create revolution. If every dissenter moved the fuck out, then nothing will ever change. Plus, I like McDonalds and basketball, I don't wanna move.

03-17-2005, 11:26 PM
We have that here. Move here.

The revoultion will never happen because what you revoultionaries don't get dispite being 'exploited' the workers lot is constantly improving. They no longer see themselves as being exploited and the welfare state will quash any notion of that.

You and I both know the revoultion you seek in the US will never happen. So move out of the country. They have basketball everywhere now days, even here in the UK same with McDonalds.

Plus hockey and subway are far superior. Move to Canada.

SicN Twisted
03-18-2005, 01:23 AM
There's many things about America I like, and I'm living here rather then France on my own accord, specifically because my country needs some healthy dissent. If you're saying all dissenters should just move, then even short of revolution no changes will ever occur.

03-18-2005, 03:09 AM
I generally agree but when you burn a flag you are pissing on every person in that country who respects it. Perhaps you should burn a party flag?

And do you not agree Subway and hockey are better?

Oh yeah Sic cause you got me reading into Anarchism I thought I should tell you I'm doing my dissertation next year on: if Anarchist/Marxist utopias have a legal system under a Jurists (HLA Hart)'s definition. Well interesting.

SicN Twisted
03-18-2005, 11:25 AM
Why would I burn a party flag, I have disdain for the ideals of my country, not any particular party. An no offence, The UK isn't exactly a pacifistic utopia I'd like to move to. We learned how to be good terrorists from you.

03-18-2005, 11:59 AM
I have to agree with Dush that I can't see a revolution happening in the US anytime soon. Many people are still ignorant about the country's issues.

03-20-2005, 10:44 AM
My statement 'Yes, Freedom of Speech, but for who' was meant for people to start thinking who owns what we hear and understand.

Even in Finland, Rupert Murdoch owns at least one radio station and a news station. He is a huge media baron in America who owns dozens of local and national media outputs, especially radio and tv.

The voices we hear in the united states, whether they be of dissent or of patriotism, are all being sold to us by one of the richest media moguls in the states. Ask anyone who votes in America, what they think of the two parties, every single one will say something close to 'I don't really like either party, but I'm voting for....'

Exact same words, from at least 1000 different people. Dissent is a slogan in America now. No one seems to like the current system, but they all vote for it.

The rich own both parties, and the vast majority of the media. Is it any wonder that the media never shows any other possibilities? Is it any wonder why socialism in any form, communist, marxist, anarchist, whatever, is never seen as anything but extremist, except that the majority of protestors all claim to be socialists. The same protestors who protested against the WTCs, the same protestors tore down a fence to get their hands on their democratically elected leader.

That was the meaning behind my statement, 'freedom of speech, but for who?'. We have freedom of speech, to a limit. We have no true freedom of media though. What good is freedom of speech when you are only allowed to hear things chosen for you from above? And don't think this doesn't apply to Finland. Rupert Murdoch owns 3 danish tv stations, at least 2-3 radio stations. I am fairly certain he owns some Finnish ones too.

If this seems like unorganized rambling, forgive me, I'm just travelled from France after drinking a bottle of 'Rhum Blanch' yes you know it's quality alcohol when Rum is spelled with an 'h'.

03-20-2005, 10:53 AM
I see what you mean now.

Yes, we just talked about this with a project partner at school. Basically, the problem in Finland is that the media is centered around certain media organizations very strongly. There is our BBC, YLE, which has no adds because it's funded by the state. That is why on neither of YLE's 2 TV channels or on YLE's 3 or 4 radio channels does anyone critisize the government. Politicians are called in to discuss, but no governmental decisions are openly frowned upon. Then there is Almamedia, with a couple of influential newspapers (or tabloids) and 2 TV channels. Then there is a huge publishing network called SanomaWSOY that publishes the biggest credible newspaper in Finland, Helsingin Sanomat and is also tied to a bookpublisher WSOY and if I remember correctly, Sanoma owns a huge amount of other newspapers and magazines all over Europe.

Not sure what part Murdoch plays in our media society, but yes, huge organizations like that are a definite threat to freedom of speech of everyone. Getting only one side of certain things from the media is probably the biggest freedom of speech related issue we have right now.

03-20-2005, 11:11 AM
It's not a problem with Freedom of Speech. It's the biggest threat to keeping freedom of speech.

I don't know if Finland has an equivalent to this, but America has the FCC, which regulates the media. It's now being run by a rather Christian fellow, and all American media is now regulated to be 'morally appropriate.' Goddamn I miss the revolutionaries of 1779. The irony is that none of them would like Bush. Or most past presidents.

03-20-2005, 11:18 AM
We have something called the Council of the Public Word or something, that basically sets out basic rules for the media to follow. It doesn't regulate it or anything, though.