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Group rights to free speech

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Mr. Wynand
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Does a group such as a union or corporation deserve the same right to free speech as an individual? If a worker is forced to join a union if he works in any given industry, isn't it the equivalent of theft if the union uses his union dues to fund a commercial?

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Yes. I mean, why not? How does freedom of speech harm someone if it comes in twos any more than it does if it comes in ones?

When you protest are, you not protesting in groups with your freedom of speech?

This is perhaps in light of the Campaign Finance ruling of yesterday, is it not?

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Does a group such as a union or corporation deserve the same right to free speech as an individual? If a worker is forced to join a union if he works in any given industry, isn't it the equivalent of theft if the union uses his union dues to fund a commercial?
These questions are unrelated. Statutorily-forced unionization would be wrong and extortion of union dues would be theft, if it exists. But an organization has the same right to free speech as an individual.
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These questions are unrelated. Statutorily-forced unionization would be wrong and extortion of union dues would be theft, if it exists. But an organization has the same right to free speech as an individual.

Okay that makes sense. Group free speech wouldn't be moral if people who didn't agree were forced into the same group. But that has to do with the morality of force, not the morality of the right to free speech. As when we talk about the poor quality of public schools, we don't talk about how we can make them better, we talk about how they can be discontinued.

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Yes. I mean, why not? How does freedom of speech harm someone if it comes in twos any more than it does if it comes in ones?

When you protest are, you not protesting in groups with your freedom of speech?

This is perhaps in light of the Campaign Finance ruling of yesterday, is it not?

Good points and yes it is.

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Does a group such as a union or corporation deserve the same right to free speech as an individual?

Interesting choice of words. It suggests to me that you think there is (or should be) some authority that gets to decide when to shut people (or groups of people) up... from speaking.

Start with the premise of protecting individual rights. What law against speech would you suggest and how does it affect any single individual's right to his own free speech?

"
Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or
abridging the freedom of speech
, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Even before the bill of rights was incorporated, some argued/worried that spelling out specific limits on the government might serve to suggest that anything they didn't limit was fair game to be taken over by the government. Calling out specific things as rights could imply that there are no other rights besides those enumerated.

That was not the intent. The intent was to emphasize.

Today in the NYT there is a really convoluted attack on the supreme court ruling. They basically are saying that since the government grants and sanctions the legal construction of a corporation, that those corporations are then "creations of the state" and get special government privileges, that their speech can be limited.

Wow! This is just breathtaking logic, but our mixed economy and our lack of separation of economy and state leave the door open for this line of argument.

Edited by freestyle
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Group free speech wouldn't be moral if people who didn't agree were forced into the same group. But that has to do with the morality of force, not the morality of the right to free speech.
Group (free) speech where people who don't agree are forced to join is immoral not because of the fact of force, but because of the fact of falsehood. If citizens are forced to be in the army and the army makes statements like "This is what the members of the army believe", then that is a lie, which is immoral. The only connection to force is that there is no way to validate that statement if everybody is forced to be a member of the army, whereas if being in the army is voluntary (and resignation is allowed), then you have some metric of the extent to which the statement is true or false -- if after saying this, everybody resigns from the army, then you know that the members of the army strongly reject the statement. If they don't resign, then you know that they don't disagree strongly enough with the statement to resign.
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Sorry to bring up this question. It probably is mentioned in a million other threads, but should it be illegal to yell "fire" in a crowded theater?

Yes.

Rights cannot contradict. Every individual in that theatre has a right to their lives. One doesn't have a right to intentionally put the lives of other individuals at risk.

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Sorry to bring up this question. It probably is mentioned in a million other threads, but should it be illegal to yell "fire" in a crowded theater?
Well, actually it shouldn't be illegal to truthfully yell "fire" in a crowded theater, though it might not be the wisest course of action. The concept "free speech" means that there shall be no limits on what ideas and claims that you may promulgate. It does not mean that "all acts performed with spoken language must be permitted". Thus it is also proper to prohibit death threats and fraud, even when they involve speaking or printing the words.
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Good points and yes it is.

Call people out on their stupid argument that "A person is not a corporation". Because no, a person is not a corporation, and they're the ones that are anthropomorphizing them. A person is not a corporation, but a person should be allowed to run his corporation however he wants.

When people say that a corporation does not deserve the same rights as a person, on the grounds that "a corporation lives forever, and a human does not", they are essentially using an excuse to discriminate against the business owner, who is running the corporation. The corporation lives forever, yes, but it is controlled by people who don't.

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