Disrupting “the marketplace of ideas”: Then and now

Source: CounterPunch
by Andrew Levine

“In the liberal view, what individuals do ought to be their own business — unless, there is some compelling reason for the state or the broader civil society to interfere. The only kind of reason Mill and other classical liberals countenanced was the prevention of (significant) harm to (identifiable) others. Paternalistic reasons (making persons better off or preventing them from doing harm to themselves) are ruled out. Interferences intended to shield people from feeling offended or disrespected are also ruled out, as are efforts to enforce morality or any particular vision, religious or secular, of the good life. Even interferences intended to prevent harm to society generally, as distinct from harm to particular individuals, are proscribed. It is therefore all but impossible, from a liberal point of view, to justify interfering with the free expression of opinions.” (11/03/17)