Freedom of Expression:
In the Programs and Policies of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 2011-2012, Bulletin of Yale University, Series 107, Number 5, of July 15, 2011, we read:
“The history of intellectual growth and discovery clearly demonstrates the need for unfettered freedom, the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable. To curtail free expression strikes twice at intellectual freedom, for whoever deprives another of the right to state unpopular views necessarily also deprives others of the right to listen to those views.”[i]
The strength of this declaration of purpose concerning academic freedom of expression is certainly unusual; but in and of itself, such declaration is necessary for any institution of learning in a democratic country, and fully in line with the First Amendment to the American Constitution that says:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The First Amendment was ratified and adopted in 1791 in order to provide a guarantee for civil liberties that was lacking in the Constitution itself, and it is interesting to notice that the discourse on freedom of expression in the United States has been, right from the beginning, inextricably connected with freedom of religion on the one hand, and with the right to ask for “redress of grievances” without suffering retaliation. Respect for and protection of civil liberties is a conditio sine qua non for democracy.
Despite such emphatic declaration of purposes, my experience in this “liberal” institution has been the very opposite of freedom, the opposite and respect, and the opposite of protection. But as we know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
[i] Programs and Policies of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 2011-2012, Bulletin of Yale University, Series 107, Number 5, of July 15, 2011, p. 530.
Just live with it –
The Russian land is the vastest country in the world, quite independent with its rich deposits of oil, natural gas, industrial and precious metals – and perhaps you remember that the Triune God has blessed Russia with the deadliest of winters…