How free speech shook the world


All tyranny throughout history has rested on the suppression of speech. The evils of slavery, of racial hierarchies, of the subjugation of women... these were all maintained by censorship. And they were all brought down by free speech. That is one of the key arguments made by Jacob Mchangama, author of Free Speech: A Global History from Socrates to Social Media, this week's guest on The Brendan O'Neill Show. Too often today, 'free speech' is derided as reactionary, as a tool of racism or a means for the powerful to 'punch down' and silence others. This is an almost comical inversion of the truth. Free speech is the greatest motor of equality and progress ever invented. It allows us to overturn hierarchies, disrupt convention and unsettle orthodoxy. Censorship suits only the powerful. 

Listen to the conversation here.