Free Speech

Make no laws whatsoever concerning speech, and speech will be free.

The law of things is that they who tamper with veracity, from whatever motive, are tampering with the vital force of human progress.

The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas - that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment as all life is an experiment.

The American Government is premised on the theory that if the mind of man is to be free, his beliefs, his ideology, his philosophy must be placed beyond the reach of government.

Soundness of understanding is connected with freedom of inquiry. Consequently, opinion should as far as public security will admit, be exempted from restraint.

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.

A free press is not a privilege but an organic necessity is a great society. Without criticism and reliable and intelligent reporting, the government cannot govern.

Freedom of the press is the intellectual mirror in which a people sees itself, and self-viewing is the first condition for wisdom.

Acceptance by government of a dissident press is a measure of the maturity of a nation.

The Press is one of our great out-sentries; if we remove it, if we hoodwink it, if we throw it in fetters, the enemy may surprise us.

Printers are educated in the belief, that when men differ in opinion, both sides ought equally to have the advantage of being heard in public.

Freedom of the press is guaranteed to those who own one.

Who will watch the watchers?

Deceive the deceivers.

You have not converted a man, because you have silenced him.

Liberty to every man to speak, write, print, and publish his opinions without having his writings subject to any censorship or inspection before their publication, and to worship as he pleases.

When men can freely communicate their thoughts and their sufferings, real or imaginary, their passions spend themselves in air, like gunpowder scattered upon the surface. But pent up by terrors, they work unseen, burst forth in a moment, and destroy everything in their course.

Long experience has taught us that it is dangerous in the interest of truth to suppress opinions and ideas; it has further taught us that it is foolish to imagine that we can do so. It is far easier to meet an evil in the open and defeat it in fair combat in people's minds, than to drive it underground and have no hold on it or proper approach to it. Evil flourishes far more in the shadows than in the light of day.

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is always as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

I view it as the most important subject which we as a people may be engaged in. That everyone may receive at least a moderate education appears to be an object of vital importance.

The preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the people than all the property of all the rich men in the country.

It was in making education not only common to all, but in some sense compulsory on all, that the destiny of the free republics of America was practically settled.


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