Cultural Gravediggers

The paradox of free societies is that they carry in their DNA the capacity for their own destruction. Free speech and press and assembly; religious, political, and economic liberty; and the encouragement of unhindered intellectual exchange permits ideas inimical to free societies to take root and, if not overcome by equally deep-rooted but contrary ideas, to sprout and overwhelm and choke the flower of freedom itself. This is an inconvenience with which non-free societies need not be troubled: military juntas, single-party totalitarianisms, and Marxist dictators can simply threaten, intimidate, jail, torture, and liquidate vocal opponents. These techniques are not available to free societies, so they have a rougher go of staving off destruction by freedom-denying dissenters.

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