Free Speech and Charlie Hebdo- what's popular today?
With the attack on the Paris cartoonists the masses have taken to the streets, airwaves and interwebs to wave some pencils and make their well meaning although somewhat lame and confused voices heard. What happened in Paris, if true, is obviously abhorrent. Right now I am more concerned with the reaction by the public and political world, what is unfolding and where this may all lead.
Free speech is a wonderful thing, where and when it occurs. There are many variants, in that not all of us feel empowered or free enough to state our views, fear of ridicule or social exclusion runs through the human make-up. So it’s much easier to express, freely, popular opinions, beliefs etc. than to go against the socially accepted views. There is a need for humans to feel part of the tribe, to feel accepted in our community. In the past exclusion could result in enforced isolation, starvation or even death. Life is hard enough without being excluded from ones social circle, community or family.
The demand for newspapers to be policed by government is laziness on behalf of the public.