言論の自由を審理にかける

つい先日、自由な世界とその価値が冷戦に打ち勝ったことを祝う式典が行われた。共産主義の帝政が崩壊し、自由と民主主義の勝利が「歴史に終止符」を打ったことをほのめかす者達もいた。

しかし、歴史は退いたわけではなかった。実は10年間もの長い幕間をとっただけで、第二部の幕開けは2001年9月、アメリカへのテロリストの攻撃によって布告された。ここから、物語は佳境に入る。今度は、自由主義政治の喜びをただ享受するのではなく、その自由主義を守るための苦しみが私たちを待っていたのだ。

9・11以降、自由を守るという名目の元にますます自由が規制されつつある。新たなビザ規制その他によって旅行が規制され、より個人的な情報が政府によって収集され、あらゆるところにビデオカメラが設置されている。ずいぶんと慇懃で干渉的になったものだ。ジョン・スチュアート・ミルの「自由論」よりも、ジョージ・オーエルのBig Brother(独裁者)を思い出させる。

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