23 March 2018

Free speech: roots of the problem

BBC’s Julian Pettifer interviewing Jane Fonda in 1970:


In none of those societies [that you admire] have they been able to allow free artistic expression. Do you not feel that as an actress you would be extremely limited in that kind of society?

Perhaps if I wanted to do things that ... You see, when you’re carrying on a revolution ... during the process of change and educating people, removing people from the state of being in which they want to exploit and become rich and get ahead over someone else and things like that ... during that changeover very stringent rules have to be laid down until such a time that the level of the economy is such that everyone is comfortable, that everyone has as much as they could possibly want.

The supposedly benevolent ends justify the oppressive means?

Perhaps this is not very different from contemporary students and academics who want to stifle speech they find unacceptable, supposedly in the interests of ‘oppressed’ social groups.