Liberty, qualified and conditional

free speech sign

Australia’s Grand Mufti explains the perils of liberty:

“Freedom of speech should not come at the expense of our ethical national values. It should not undermine our multiculturalism. It should not compromise our gains as a civil society.”
Ibrahim Abu Mohammed
, The Age

There is something familiar about that sentiment. Now where have we heard it argued that speech should be free only so long as it advances the state’s conception of a decent, sound society? Ah, yes, that’s right:

“Theatre, art, literature, movies, the press, billposters and window displays must be … put into the service of a moral idea of State and culture.”
A. Hitler, Mein Kampf

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