The Founding Fathers never believed in FREE SPEECH without limits

Free speech has long been held up by academics as the very pinnacle of western democracy and yet when you study the ‘inalienables’ there are plenty of circumstances (such as during a trial) when free speech is absolutely toxic to our ‘inalienables’

Lady Justice — sword represents authority, scales represent ‘weighing of evidence’, and the blindfold represents impartiality (wealth or position does not afford privilege under the law)

IS ANYTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN FREE SPEECH. If there are things which are more important lets explore them. Lets look at the ‘core values’ laid down in the declaration of independence.

In order to find this out lets go back to what previous generations have held up. The founding fathers refer to a set of inalienables. They called their discovery ‘inalienable rights’ — these were sacred, inherent, self evident. They were absolutes. And the first of these was:

  • You have freedom as an individual to be self governing in all your affairs is primary and non reducible (provided your exercise of your freedoms does not threaten your fellow humans)

There are freedoms and there are limits to those freedoms. The limit to ‘those freedoms’ were written in terms of two ABSOLUTES:

  • don’t harm each other EVER
  • dont’t threaten to harm each other EVER

Now lets turn our attention to where the concept of FREE SPEECH has most impact — that of the media. IF the above two absolutes are true — then it would mean that anytime we knowingly use our power of free speech to HARM or THREATEN then we have in fact crossed a line laid down by the Declaration of Independence. At that point the ‘law’ would kick into effect to limit the damage we could inflict. This is the principle of a republic — freedom with law and force of law.

News used to be assessed much like how a trial is conducted. And used to cause far less societal damage.

News was then trying to attain an almost photorealistic image of reality. It was de-facto acknowledging the above two absolutes. And it was in essence similar, very similar, to what the police ideally do in gathering evidence. Presenting false evidence in a court of law has severe consequence. Presenting false evidence en-masse through the media has severe consquence. Should we not then enforce NEWs labelling more far more rigorously than something such as food labelling.

News is the 5ws — as shown below

This process of verification is what separated NEWS from EVERYTHING ELSE — everything else includes but is not limited to:

  • entertainment
  • infotainment
  • propaganda
  • fiction
  • art
Extract from ‘The Elements of Journalism’ by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel

So lets be very clear and look at what constitutes a move from NEWS toward something like entertainment or propaganda:

  • introducing opinion — it looks to me, I think etc
  • negligently printing with less than near 100% certainty as to the verified truth of the 5ws (cross checking, back checking sources etc)
  • Reframing — anytime we intentionally or unintentionally skew the context and falsely minimise some parts while maximising others

News is simply put JUST the facts. Period. EVERYTHING else is opinion. Whats needed is labelling — so just like on food — at the very least — and ideally we would return back to a system whereby, harm or threat of harm was duly dealt with by the law. We assume good faith (innocence) but once a person has stepped over the line with their use of their powers then action is taken.

Free speech is all well and good right up until you cause harm or threat of harm with it — the guidelines in the declaration of independence are very clear on this — the inalienable rights are:

Declaration of Independence from 1776:

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; …

Lets see what he was saying here —

  • ‘equal and independent’ = so equal to every other person, institution and NEVER at any time to be subjugated FOR ANY REASON EVER — independent would translate to self governing in ALL matters at all times and in ALL places FOREVER
  • the right to the ‘preservation of life’ = the right not to be harmed or threatened in any way EVER
  • the right to ‘preservation… (of) liberty’ = you have a right to have your personal choices respected, your ‘liberties’ given the HIGHEST priority at ALL times and in ALL places (provided your execution of those ‘liberties does not harm or even threaten to harm others)
  • the right to the ‘pursuit of happiness’ = you have the right to spend your life engaged in what is meaningful to you at ALL time and in ALL places (PROVIDED that your choices NEVER harm or threaten to harm others)

So lets summarise the declaration (absolutes) — don’t harm, don’t threaten to harm and you are free to live as you best see fit. If you ever wonder what you can or can’t do just ask your self — will this harm or threaten another — if not then go ahead — fill your boots — its your life — you were created ‘equal and independent’.

What we have in our current media sphere (the world of words so to speak) is law and freedom without force of law — also defined by Kant as anarchy.

Larger structures in society are useful to the extent that they support or maximise:

  • personal liberty (you are FREE to live as you best see fit ALWAYS and for ALL TIME)
  • harm reduction (don’t harm EVER)
  • threat reduction (don’t even threaten to harm EVER)

In a Police State you have each of these inalienables turned on it head — a ‘freedom is slavery logic’ if you will that would read something like:

  1. We are here to ensure that people are harmed — INCARCERATION, SURVEILLANCE, INCOME INEQUALITY, POOR ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE/ EDUCATION, LACK OF JOB SECURITY
  2. We are here to ensure that people are threatened (AS ABOVE)
  3. We are here to ensure that people do what we say (aka cannot can live as they best see fit) SURVEILLANCE, DRACONIAN ‘LAWS’, MEDIA CENSORSHIP + NEWS MANIPULATION
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