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Speechless by Bruce Barry

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207

CONCLUSIONThe Case for Freer Expression

It is necessary to recognize the powerful forces that impel men towards the elimination of unorthodox expression. Most men have a strong inclination, for rational or irrational reasons, to suppress opposition.

—Thomas I. Emerson1

EMERSON IS RIGHT. His observation, from the opening pages of his masterful 1970 book, The System of Freedom of Expression, captures a noxious managerial impulse to silence workplace speech rather than to understand, accommodate, or tolerate it. But managers aren’t the only ones who fall victim to the impulse to silence opposition; Emerson is actually describing just about all of us. However tolerant and open-minded we imagine ourselves, the fact remains that opposition is ...

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