Mr. Stolyarov explains why recent riots in the Middle East and some Western countries should not be allowed to infringe upon the absolutely vital right of free speech – including tasteless and offensive speech – for any individuals. Only by allowing unbridled criticism of political and religious ideas can a society undergo true innovation and transformative changes that raise standards of living across the board.
Mr. Stolyarov also elaborates upon the absolute distinction between the expression of ideas and physical actions that have the potential to harm other people. He explains that an idea per se can be interpreted in many ways and is not a guarantee of any given behavior. Furthermore, he criticizes the “internationalist” school of law, which would subordinate the American First Amendment to a repressive global “consensus” which would limit certain forms of unpopular expression. The pursuit of truth, not consensus, ought to determine which ideas prevail and which are abandoned.
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