Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Obligation of Freedom

"In a certain state there is no speed limit for automobiles on the open highway. One day, in this state, a highway patrolman stopped a man who was going ninety-five miles an hour around a curve, and cautioned him about speeding. The driver's answer was: "This is a free country - I can drive as fast as I want." In a small town in another state lived a man who belonged to an unpopular minority political party. This man published a small weekly newspaper in which he upheld his party's views, constantly criticized local government officials. One day he was visited by a group of citizens who told him that the community wanted no part of him or his newspaper and that he must stop publishing it. His reply was similiar to the driver's: "This is a free country - I can publish my opinions if I want to." Most Americans will agree that the driver was wrong and the publisher right. But why? Both were appealing to the individual's freedom to do as he wishes - and this is a freedom most American's value very highly. Neither man was breaking the law. What then was the difference between the two situations? Where do we draw the line between freedom and abuse of freedom?"

National Research Bureau Inc., no date

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