Freedom of Expression- A Service to Citizens Essay

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“The First Amendment to the United States Constitution says that Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of ‘speech’ (“Freedom of Expression”).” It has been proven through the court system that speech goes far beyond regular verbal communication (“Freedom of Expression”). If this is be true, then why is there so much controversy over the freedom of expression? If the right to freedom of expression is taken away, the government will steadily become more and more powerful until it controls every facet of life. Even though the United States prides itself on being a staunchly democratic nation, it is no better than a tyrannical government if it steals the right of freedom of expression from its citizens. Most people do not wish to live in a society oppressed by an all-powerful government that gives them very little freedom. Holding Orwell’s society as a model, a government that has too much power will gladly let its citizens endure pain, suffering, and even torture. For society to be productive, people must be allowed to express their ideas and thoughts, if they cannot, then civilization will move backwards instead of frontward.
The issue of freedom of expression is not a new problem. In fact, people have been debating it for years, even on the Supreme Court level. One such case is Schenck v. United States, where it was deemed illegal for Schenck to distribute pamphlets urging people to impede the process of the draft (“Schenck v. United States”). The Supreme Court thought that it was illegal for Schenck to do this, and he was convicted, but on another case dealing with the freedom of expression the court took the opposite side. In the case of Tinker v. Des Moines, a school prohibited students from wearing black armba...

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Living an emotionless existence is surely not living at all, and this is why freedom of expression should be a guaranteed right. It is very important for a functional society where people are entitled to their opinion and are able to freely offer constructive criticism. When it is taken away, oppression, poverty, and the general degradation of society is seen in abundance. A society in which people are allowed to speak their minds is infinitely better than an Orwellian one in which people feared thinking thoughts that could be unwelcome to the government. A terrible place if one were not even safe in their mind. The present world is a place to give full freedom of expression to everyone. Everyone deserves the chance to get their ideas across, and depriving them of that opportunity is borderline inhumane. It is simply immoral to deny this right.

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