Thomas I. Emerson Quote

“The Right of all members of society to form their own beliefs and communicate them freely to others must be regarded as an essential principle of a democratically organized society.”

~ Thomas I. Emerson

Toward A General Theory of the First Amendment, 1966

Ratings and Comments

Joe, Rochester, MI

Just keep in mind the United States is a Constitutionally Limited Federal REPUBLIC ... not a democracy. The title of the source screams socialism to me.

bill, escalon

i thnk that joe is gay............chyea

  • 1
  • 2
  • Reply
Anonymous    5/5/09

A republic is a kind of democracy, by the way.

Mike, Norwalk

As a stand alone concept, it can be / maybe - most often not. "Democratically organized society" covers a large realm of organizations - including "democracy", that does NOT have as an essential principle the "right(s)" of each / all members, only the power of a majority (might makes right). A republican form of government can use democratic strategies to choose a method of administering individual inalienable rights.

E Archer, NYC

Since Jefferson called his party the Democratic-Republicans, I am willing to have 'democratic' as an adverb for a 'republican' form of government. A republican form of government can have many forms - democratic processes and principles have certainly been incorporated into America's version.

"The right to form their own beliefs" is the meat of the statement.

Jim K, Austin

I'm with E Archer on this.

Ronw13, OR

"Perpetual peace" Immanuel Kant, Kant listed several conditions that he thought necessary for ending wars and creating a lasting peace. They included a world of constitutional republics. His classical Republican theory was extended in the "science of right", the first part of the "metaphysics of morals" (1797) kant believed that universal history leads to the ultimate world of republican states at peace, but his theory was not pragmatic. The process was described in "perpetual peaces" as Natural rather than rational. Doctrine of the state based upon the law ( rechtsstaat) and of eternal peace. This legal doctrine rejects by definition the opposition between moral education and the play of passions as alternate foundations for social life. 
Kant opposed "democracy" which at his time meant "direct democracy" believing that the majority rule posed a threat to individual liberty. He, stated democracy is, properly speaking , necessarily a despotism, because it establishes and executive power in which "all" decide for or even against one who does not agree; that is, "all" who are not quite all, decide , and this is a contradiction of the general will with itself and with Freedom. At that time three forms of government  distinguished, democracy, aristocracy, monarchy, believing a mix of all three as the most ideal. 


Get a Quote-a-Day!

Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.