It is well to remember that in spite of the valid criticisms which can be made of the way western societies have allowed governments to place restrictions upon freedom of speech, it pales in comparison with the totalitarian regimes (some of which have been changed) in countries which lie between the Elbe and the China Sea. One example is the care which the leader of the Polish trade union Solidarity, Lech Walesa, had to employ in any "statement" which he made during the communist regime, about the problems confronting that country. It is clear that it is only the threat of criticism from the international media which prevented Walesa from being dealt with in the usual communist way.
This association of restrictions with socialism and freedom with capitalism is no matter of chance. Capitalism is, with all its faults, a pluralist system. Power within it is dispersed and various and it is this pluralism which is the necessary (though not sufficient) condition for freedom's existence and continuance. Socialism, on the other hand, is a highly centralised system, with political and economic power concentrated in very few hands. Freedom of speech in the socialist bloc is all the more restricted where all causes must bend to the communist doctrine.
|« NEXT »||« Freedom Of Speech »||« Australian Achievement »||« Australian Topics »||« Home »|