The philosopher JohnStuartMill elucidated the idea of the importance of unpopular speech in his essay On Liberty:

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

Last edited on Monday, December 30, 2002 12:17:58 pm.