Saturday, October 10, 2009

Is our civil government going to take our free speech away?

New looming legislation has as its goal to thought police us and take away our right of free speech. Albert Einstein left Germany for America in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany and free speech became a thing of the past in the Third Reich. Read for yourself what he had to say about those who seek tyranny rather than freedom and see if you can't see the parallels to what's going on in America's congress today:

Einstein’s love for free speech and free thoughts:

When he [Einstein] first arrived in Princeton [1933], Einstein had been impressed that America was, or could be, a land free of the rigid class hierarchies and servility in Europe. But what grew to impress him more—and what made him fundamentally such a good American but also a controversial one—was the country’s tolerance of free thought, free speech, and nonconformist beliefs. That had been a touchstone of his science, any now it was a touchstone of his citizenship. He had forsaken Nazi Germany with the pubic pronouncement that he would not live in a country where people were denied the freedom to hold and express their own thoughts. ”At that time, I did not understand how right I was in my choice of America as such a place,” he wrote in an unpublished essay just after becoming a citizen. “On every side I hear men and women expressing their opinion on candidates for office and the issues of the day without fear of consequences.” The beauty of America, he said, was that this tolerance of each person’s ideas existed without the “brute force and fear” that had arisen in Europe. “From what I have seen of Americans, I think that life would not be worth living to them without this freedom of self expression.” The depth of his appreciation for America’s core value would help explain Einstein’s cold public anger and dissent when, during the McCarthy era a few years later, the nation lapsed into a period marked by the intimidation of those with unpopular views.
Pg. 479-480

Despite his criticisms of untrammeled capitalism, what repelled him more—and had repelled him his entire life—was repression of free thought and individuality. “Any government is evil if it carries within it the tendency to deteriorate into tyranny,” he warned the Russian scientists. “The danger of such deterioration is more acute in a country in which the government has authority not only over the armed forces but also over every channel of education and information as well as over the existence of every single citizen.”
Pg. 497

Excerpts taken from: Isaacson, Walter. Einstein: His Life and Universe. Simon & Schuster, New York, NY. C 2007 by Walter Isaacson. Hardcover. ISBN 0743264738