Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Human rights vs. freedom of speech

The Libertarian Party of Canada has produced a video featuring Ezra Levant talking about the Steven Bessoin case and the implications for freedom of speech. And while I don't always agree with Mr. Levant, I do share his horror at the outcome of this case.

Two things fascinate me. One is that a democratic country with a long tradition of freedom should throw away freedom of speech so easily. One thinks that freedom of speech is most in danger in undemocratic countries, and in countries with no tradition of freedom of speech. But no, in countries like Canada, freedom of speech is being trampled underfoot.

The other thing that fascinates me is that freedom of speech is being rejected because of a concern for human rights. The concept of “human rights” has now become the enemy, not the friend, of freedom.

The conclusion that I come to is that freedom of speech is a very fragile flower, one that will become increasingly hard to find - unless those who love it are prepared to do something about it.

Many thanks to Greg at The Holy Cause for this. He also helpfully provides fairly full background details of the Bessoin case.

1 comment:

JonnyN said...

I've been interested for a long while now in this. It does have relevance for the UK: a few strokes of a pen, some "pro-Human Rights" legislation and this becomes just like Canada: