General Question

dkranzberg's avatar

Is it possible to have freedom of speech or press without economic freedom?

Asked by dkranzberg (532points) October 20th, 2010

The question is straightforward and simple. No elaboration is necessary or warranted. Moreover, more details may be prejudicial to the respectful discourse that I hope will follow.

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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Yes, that is what there is in some European countries.

josie's avatar

If there is no economic freedom, there is no need for freedom of speech and press.

WestRiverrat's avatar

No,there may be a perception of freedom, but as long as the gov’t has the ablility to shut down the outlet, they in fact control the media. Venezuela supposedly has freedom of the press, but what happens when a station doesn’t air Chavez’s speeches?

Winters's avatar

The Soviet Union had it in their Bill of Rights equivalent, just that it was implied that you’d disappear if you tried to use them.

wundayatta's avatar

It seems to be possible to have economic freedom without freedom of speech and/or press. But the other way around? It seems like it is theoretically possible. You could have a managed economy with free press and speech. The people would have to choose the managed economy in free elections for it to have legitimacy. It could happen. @marinelife thinks that is the case in some countries right now.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t really see the connection. What is meant by economic freedom?

ETpro's avatar

Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that I have the right to compell all three Networks and all the major Cable channels to carry a film I make, or that I can force Random House to print my next great novel even though every editor who loooks at it ends up violently sick to their stomachs. Freedom of speech realtes to the government not having the right to stop you from speaking your mind. It was never meant to imply that Joe Bloe from Podunk would have an equal platform to do that alongside Rush Limbaugh.or Charlie GIbson.

As the conventional wisdom rightly suggests, “Never start a war of words with people who buy ink by the barrel full.”

dkranzberg's avatar


Perhaps this example will clarify:
Would it be possible to have freedom of the press if government controlled the production, distribution and marketing of goods and services?

YARNLADY's avatar

Something very close to that now exists in Sweden, for instance, and I think the people there are free to make the choices they want.

dkranzberg's avatar

I’m curious, would you consider being able to select products from a list of government created and sponsored choices, freedom of choice?

YARNLADY's avatar

@dkranzberg The question there is which government? If the government is the representative democracy that we now have, and the list was created by our chosen representatives, then yes, just like we now have government approved pharmaceuticals.

Yes, there is room for corruption, but regular elections and other safe guards are designed to keep that to a minimum. People keep losing sight that in the U. S. we have government of the people by the people. They ignore their right and freedom to participate.

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