Freedom of Speech Might Not Exist



Sounds crazy, but the idea of freedom of speech might never actually exist.

It might be just an imaginary idea people promote, or simply a reason of why people say what they said.


What is freedom?

In my definition, freedom is the ability to do whatever one wants without any consequences.

According to Oxford, it is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants.

But the definition of freedom may differ from each and every individual, because it is also free to interpret however you want it to be.


Our action in this world is not free. Everything has its consequences. Some have a heavy consequences such as serving the jail time, or being zapped on an electric chair.


But what I am particularly interested is this particular freedom called the freedom of speech.

Many countries claim to have it, many people claim to live by this. But are we, truly, actually, completely, free to speak?


"Yes, we are free to speak but just don't say xxxx"

"Yeah you can say that but not in front of xxxx"

"You can say whatever you want but look at the condition and place"


The presence of condition in the later part of the sentences is, to me, an ultimate proof that freedom of speech don't exist.


If we are truly free to speak whatever, shouldn't there be absolutely no consequences on saying harsh words, saying the truth, spreading misinformation, libel, or saying what's on our mind?


Yet, we live in the world where even the simplest form of speech may have a huge impact on someone's life.

We live in the world where a speak of truth and the next thing you know, people get hated or being sent a "special" letter.


One opinion that contradicts with 90% of what the public thinks, the next thing you know, you are "cancelled".


Your belief are different with what people say on Twitter and you are being bashed with hate tweets.


I might even get hate speech after publishing this article.


Whatever it is, your speech has to be "approved" by the public or a certain government body. So is that called freedom?


Freedom of speech, in my imagination, maybe only exists when you are in a remote land where there is no device at all, no other human around and you can say whatever without anyone listening.

But then I think again, is that really such a freedom, to speak when no one listens? Because now the condition is "You may speak whatever as long as there is no human/device listening". Still, there is a condition that follows it.


Freedom of anything is almost tarnished in this world, freedom of belief, orientation, practising culture, almost anything you could name. It is probably due to the birth of freedom of speech, which is not exactly free, anyway.


I am not saying freedom of speech is a bad thing, I am not saying freedom of speech makes things worse. Almost anything in this world produce both good and bad outcome, including freedom of speech. Maybe in a way, it makes certain people more expressive, maybe it shuts the others, maybe it makes new law, maybe it makes it easier for people to go on a witch hunt.


The only freedom I know is freedom of thought.


I myself not having desire to have freedom of speech. Because speech can go wrong. Certain words when spoken by certain people at the wrong time or place may start a war. But at the same time, people should wake up to the realisation that there is no such thing as freedom of speech. People should not romanticise the idea of free to speak whatever because...it's not.


I am aware that in this world, in this life we live in, the idea of freedom is almost non-existent. And that is not, always and necessarily, a bad thing.

Leni

Leni Tjahjadi

UX Design, Copywriting, UX Writing, Marketing Visual, and Branding

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