The Loyalty of Free Men

The Loyalty of Free Men

The Loyalty of Free Men

The Loyalty of Free Men

Excerpt

BY ZECHARIAH CHAFEE, JR.

Mr. Barth's book is important for at least two reasons.

First, he gives us (especially in Chapters I and X) a fresh and persuasive presentation of the strongest arguments for the determined maintenance of freedom of thought and speech in a self‐ governing country like ours.Milton and Mill were great in their time, but our age badly needs to learn anew the indispensable values of liberty of opinion by hearing them stated in its own language and in the context of familiar facts.That is what Mr.Barth does.These pages are full of wise and quotable sentences: "The government of a free people must take certain chances for the sake of maintaining freedom which the government of a police state avoids because it holds freedom to be of no value." "Tolerance of diversity is imperative, because without it life would lose its savor.... The totalitarian ... society ... is stultifying and degrading to the human beings who live in it.Freedom gives a release to the human spirit, provides the indispensable condition for the realization of its limitless possibilities."

Second, Mr.Barth tells us what has been going on.A sort of war correspondent at the heart of the battle in Washington, he recounts the outstanding events in the rapid retreat of Jefferson's ideal that the only right way to combat bad opinions is by good opinions and not by punishments. "Tolerance of diversity and faith in the democratic process are giving way to the reliance on . . .

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