Freedom of Speech in the West: A Comparative Study of Public Law in France, the United States, and Germany

By Frede Castberg | Go to book overview

Chapter Three
LEGISLATION AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

In this chapter there will be an account of some of the most important legal provisions about free speech from the last two decades,--chiefly such provisions as are directed against the Communist menace. It is these provisions which shed the most interesting light on political freedom of expression. It is also these provisions which to a special degree are influenced by the fundamental political view of the relationship between society and the individual in the American people to-day.

It can hardly have been correct to claim that the Americans' political clean-out in the years after World War II has any connection with the fact that an anarchist murdered President McKinley in 1901.1 One gets nearer the truth in seeking its explanation in such phenomena as Soviet Russia's policy of expansion, the subordination of Communist parties under Moscow, the cold war, the Korean war, and--above all--the many exposures of serious espionage and other forms of treason in the United States in favour of the Soviet Union. The laws and administrative provisions which are to be discussed in this chapter are, to a greater or lesser extent, directed against the danger of Communist infiltration. There are, however, also certain provisions affecting political freedom of expression in other ways.

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1
Ernst Andersen, p. 111.

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