Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The success of a democracy is measured by the extent that people enjoy freedom. A democracy is hollow if the people lose the right to espouse variant ideas. The vote of each citizen is but the expression of a decision reached after weighing all sides of the issues. When the electorate is deprived of access to divergent points of view, voting is reduced to a mere physical exercise. An intelligent democracy is meaningful, responsive, and dynamic only to the degree to which the voter has the freedom to consider all the contradictory and competing ideas or positions. An effective democratic government nurtures three distinct yet closely related rights: freedom of thought, speech, and action. Freedom of thought is the most basic of the three, for the other two are dependent upon it. Besides being the most basic, it is also the most difficult to regulate. Yet society can influence, to a large degree, what a person thinks by regulating what he sees, hears, and reads. A closed society can exclude all forms of literature, philosophy and art that do not coincide with the ideas of the rulers of the state. Besides acting in this negative manner, the government can utilize the channels of communication as a positive vehicle for indoctrinating its citizens with the state's ideology. In a closed society the individual must turn either to works smuggled past the censor or to his own inner reflections on life, society, and nature. Freedom of thought, by itself, whether arrived at openly with the encouragement of the state or covertly, benefits the individual more than the government...



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