Freedom of Speech : Walter Lippman Essay

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In The Indispensable Opposition, Walter Lippman establishes his argument by incorporating logos, hasty generalization, and juxtaposition to provoke readers to view freedom of speech as an essential component that contributes to every man or woman's liberties, rather than as a commonly acknowledged necessity among the individual. Appeals to logic is strongly manipulated to cause readers to recognize how defending the individual's right of expression is related to society's passive tolerance of these rights. Lippman speculates that "the freedom man accords to other men is a matter of toleration," while his or her individual freedoms are a matter of right. This tolerance counteracts the purpose of freedom of speech by generalizing the right as "practical human experience" that should only be addressed when men are deeply and vitally concerned by the topic of discussion. Society claims that their acts of tolerance are acts of self-righteousness, as though we believe that being passive towards others' free speech is selfless and noble. Lippman is supportive of protecting our opponents right to speak, rather than tolerating it due to the fact that "we must hear what they have to say….because freedom of discussion improves our own opinions." Lippman's logical perspective and commentary on the issue of political freedom illustrates the liberties of others as being "our own vital necessity" and that society should alter their viewpoint as such. Lippman's argument is fueled by hasty generalizations which urge the reader to break the stereotype and confront the author's argument as it applies to them. Lippman addresses his criticisms toward the general population to imply the commonality of the tolerant behavior he describes, making it familiar to all readers to interpret in regards to their own ways. The true purpose of our right to freedom of speech is disregarded when

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