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On freedom of expression – 2

After listening to some statements (which I think are misleading), I questioned the reason for my attachment to total freedom of expression, and wondered what could justify censorship. The protection of the general interest? Of private interests? Who is legitimate to set the rules? And to arbitrate? Is it reasonable to entrust any authority with the responsibility of sorting information?

Is informational chaos, or just chaos, desirable? Are they even bearable? Where does the need for order originate from? Isn’t it inherent in any society? Isn’t the human being fundamentally social? Is chaos sustainable over time? Would it not inevitably lead to a new order? So why prefer a new uncertain order to the one in place? Have we not rooted in us a need for stability and security that would then be the ultimate rationale for any rule and censorship?

Does the preservation of the (informational) health of a fragile (“gullible”) population justify censoring certain statements that could destabilize it? Or can we lose control of the information and rely on a form of natural selection that over time would make the entire system healthier and more robust, albeit at the cost of many lives? And in this likely new stability, wouldn’t there necessarily be new rules to which we would have to comply?

The question arises as to the cost/benefit ratio of freedom of expression, and the answer lies in each of us.

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