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  • Christopher G. Moore

Freedom of Speech includes the Right to Ridicule

When I was a student at Oxford, I sat in on lectures by Professor Ronald Dworkin. He is the foremost legal philosopher in the English-speaking world.

In a recent article titled the Right to Ridicule in the New York Review of Books, Professor Dworkin wrote:

“Free speech is a condition of legitimate government. Laws and policies are not legitimate unless they have been adopted through a democratic process, and a process is not democratic if government has prevented anyone from expressing his convictions about what those laws and policies should be.”

And further, he says, “So in a democracy no one, however powerful or impotent, can have a right not to be insulted or offended. That principle is of particular importance in a nation that strives for racial and ethnic fairness.”

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