Freedom of Speech.

Essay by GAsweetpeach296High School, 12th gradeA+, September 2005

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Freedom of expression is one of the most fundamental rights that an individual can enjoy. It is fundamental to the existence of democracy and the respect of human dignity. It is also one of the most dangerous rights, because freedom of expression means the freedom to express one's discontent with the current issues and the desire to change them. As such, it is one of the most threatened rights, with governments all over the world constantly trying to confine its limits. Without the freedom of speech, the democratic free-world that we currently reside in would be entirely inversed. Almost complete conformity to society would exist throughout our lives; our opinions and feelings suppressed due to the decisions of the government. If this right was not instilled in the Bill of Rights, Americans today would not be living a life of their own. They would be living a life that the government only approves of, ultimately turning into a communist institution.

In today's world, the right to speak your mind is not always acceptable or legal. In most third world countries, you must be high up on the social ladder to speak your thoughts and have them heard; if you are not of a high position your opinion is insignificant and frequently overlooked. Those who cry out against this injustice are often punished severely by their superiors. It is important for those who have the right of freedom of speech to fight to maintain it, not only for them, but to give hope to those whose government restricts its society. In other words, unless we ensure these liberties, then we deny our own society of what we ultimately stand for and are therefore no better than those to whom we are opposed. Voltaire has once said, "I disapprove of what...