Is free speech essential in a democracy? Can it ever be restricted?
In order to answer the question as to whether free speech is essential in a democracy and if it could ever be restricted, first, we must understand what a democracy is. A democracy is political system where the citizens of a nation or group are given the right to hold and voice an opinion on matters. If we were to restrict this right in a democratic system, it would no longer be classified as a democracy as the right of freedom is lost. Therefore, I shall argue that free speech is essential to democracy and it cannot be restricted; my reasons for this are several. One reason being that a democracy is based on the freedom of the people and taken this away will lead to a dictatorship; and a seconnd reason is, of course, by restricting democracy riots are likely to break out- causing societal issues. However, in order to fairly argue my case, I must analyse a benefit of restricting free speech- this being that by restricting abusive speech, less people in society will feel threatened by other citizens.
Democracy is the freedom of people. It gives us the right to a voice and opinion which helps to create an equal and representative state for all those involved in the system. Imagine if this was taken away from us, what would we have? Well, the answer is clear. We would be living in a dictatorship. If our free speach was restricted, it is likely that the Government would protect themselves from criticism, thus, making scrutiny of those in power to be minimised and eventually diminish. Soon, we would be being told what to wear, how to dress and how to act. Would you really want your child growing up in a world where they were brainwashed into beecoming an institutionalised, Government loving member of society rather than an individual with their own opinions and personality traits? These are just a few ways in which restricting freedom of speech will harm society and therefore freedom of speech cannot be restrict as it is essential to a democracy.
Furthermore, in a society where we have experienced the right to free speech for centuries, it would be very difficult to take that away from us. We would lose everything we knew about being a citizen of our country. We eould not know how to act. ANd as we became enraged about this, we would likely turn to mob mentality and riot. Do you remember the riots of 2011 in London? Well, imagine that, but instead- this would be taking place all over our country and it is likely people would be far more angry. The whole country would break into anarchy and what we once knew to be a civilised, democratic country would cease to be. There would be blood, anguish, death. That is exactly why we cannot restrict free speech: out whole country would break into uncivilisation- leaving everyone fearing for their safety and protection which they once knew of as part of a democratic country where free soeach played an essential part.
In spite of this, free speech can be evil. It can be the cause of abuse, violence and death. In a world where many people are discriminated against simply because the way they look displeases others, free speech causes harm. Racism, sectarianiasm, xenophobia all exist as a result of the so called 'essential' free speech. So it may be that free speech should be restricted, for some, to protect every citizen from the harm of some narrow-minded and uneducated harrassers. However, we could not just restrict some people from the right to free speech and if we did, we can be almsot certain that anarchy would break out as it would undemocratic So unfortunately, to protect society as a whole, free speech must not be restricted for anyone as it is an essential party of democracy.
To conclude, free speech is not just a part of our democracy, it forms the basis to a happy and accepting society where views and opinions can heard clearly. By restrcing this right, we as citizens would likely struggle to live a content life- we would become angered, resentful and eventually violent. And if we did not, we would become oppressed to the extent where we ould live in a world of a dictatorship. We would lose our individuality, everything that made us who we are would be gone and lost. Both of these scenarios seem unattractive to almost everyone, and that is why it is at the at most importance that free speech is not restricted and it is essential in a democracy.